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 Orientation Meeting
The Empowered Estate Plan
Our extensive experience in working with clients identifies that the best way to begin is by educating you on your options. The Client Orientation Meeting is how we do it. The Client Orientation Meeting is a group meeting presenting The Empowered Estate Plan workshop. It is designed primarily to teach you the different types of estate plans and how each one addresses estate planning challenges. During the meeting you learn our philosophy and our estate planning process. Taking this first step allows you to get to know us while gaining valuable knowledge from experienced estate planning attorneys.
We hold our Client Orientation Meeting in our office Learning Center the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 2 pm, and other times upon request. There is no charge, but reservations are required. Contact us today to reserve a seat for our next meeting.
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 the details of your plan. We talk through what your needs are now and how you see those needs changing in the future, through possible incapacity and at death, focusing on what is best with what we know today, and having a process to update your plan as things change in the future. If married, we discuss unique issues for the surviving spouse. We then talk specifics about each of your beneficiaries, whether children, charities, other loved ones or a combination. It is important that you teach us about your beneficiaries and any specific needs or desires relevant to your planning. We strive to counsel you through your plan in plain English by discussing various options and answering your questions until you are comfortable with your preliminary plan.
04. The Counseling and Review Session
We are ready to begin drafting following your Counseling and Design session(s). Once prepared, we will sit down together and carefully review your plan, answer questions and make any desired changes. Upon your approval, you will sign your estate planning documents. Following the signing, our Funding Coordinator will introduce the funding phase of our process, review your assets and determine the extent you wish to include other trusted advisors (e.g., CPA, Financial Advisor).
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.
06. Plan Maintenance
Legacy Protection Program
You spent your time and hard-earned money to get a well-organized plan in place. Now it’s time to keep it current through changes in the law, your family and life experiences.
Our Legacy Protection Program keeps your plan up-to-date in the following ways:
- Annual review of assets and tax law
- Scheduled estate plan updates
- Regular client meetings to discuss life or health changes
- Educational opportunities on topics pertinent to our clients, their helpers and family members