Our Empowered Estate Planning Process
Every client is unique, and no two estate plans are the same, but we all like to have a general idea of what to expect when beginning a new project. With this in mind, here is an introduction to our planning approach.
01. Client Discovery and Education
The Empowered Estate Plan
Our extensive experience in working with families identifies a good way to begin is to educate you on your estate planning options through the Empowered Estate Plan workshop, presented by Attorney Marnie H. Watson. You will have he opportunity to view this workshop at your convenience from your personal computer, tablet or phone. In this video, Marnie explains different types of estate plans and challenges, as well as our philosophy and estate planning process. We will also provide an information packet for you to begin gathering information relevant to your planning goals. The combination of education and information organization allows us to provide specific guidance and recommendations for the next step in our process, your Initial Personal Consultation.
02. Initial Personal Consultation
Your Initial Personal Consultation is designed for you to get answers to questions specific to you and your family and for us to learn more about you and your concerns. We discuss both short and long-term ideas for you and your loved ones as well as learning about your background and personal stories. We’ll talk about your values and objectives necessary to build a solid foundation for your plan. We discuss options and give recommendations to best accomplish your goals, including legal fees for the plan. Once we answer all your questions to your satisfaction, we move to the Counseling and Design Session.
03. The Counseling and Design Session
In the Counseling and Design Session, we begin building details of your plan. We discuss your current needs and how you see these needs changing in the future, through possible incapacity and at death, focusing on what is best with what we know today, while having a process to update your plan for future changes. We discuss unique issues for surviving spouses, if married, and specifics about anyone you wish to name in your plan. As you teach us about your beneficiaries, including specific needs and wishes, we begin to design an estate plan that will work for you and those important to you. We counsel you through your plan in plain English by discussing various options and answering your questions until you are comfortable with moving to the next step in our process, the Counseling and Review Session.
04. The Counseling and Review Session
We are ready to begin drafting following your Counseling and Design session(s). Once prepared, we meet to carefully review your plan, answer questions and make desired changes. Once comfortable with the plan, you sign your estate planning documents. Following signing, Trica Gonzalez, our Financial Integration Manager, introduces the basics of aligning your assets with your estate plan. We review the information provided in the discovery step of our process, so that when we consult your trusted advisors (e.g., CPA, Financial Advisor) we cover all of your estate planning goals.
05. Financial Strategies Meeting and Funding Meeting
Once documents are signed, we work directly with you and your trusted advisors to meet two overall goals. First, we want to ensure your trusted advisors understand the plan and have the opportunity to provide insight and ask questions before we request any changes. Then, we work with you, your advisors and other financial institutions to align your assets with your plan.