LEGACY PLANNING IS ABOUT
The Legacy Planning Process
If you reach out via phone, email, or through this website’s contact form, I’ll chat with you briefly and then direct you to my scheduling page so that you can pick a convenient time for our 30-minute Legacy Plan Initial Consultation. If you’d like, you can skip the Meet & Greet and go straight to the scheduling page.
The legacy planning process starts with an initial complimentary 30-minute meeting, which you can schedule online here. Once you schedule your appointment, I will email you a client registration form to fill out online (you must complete this form prior to our Initial Consultation).
We will use these 30 minutes to:
get to know each other a bit
go over the answers you entered on your registration form
discuss your needs and goals
address any initial questions or concerns you might have
schedule your Design Meeting
discuss your preparation for the Design Meeting (see Note below)
Note: After our Initial Meeting, I will email you a form to fill out (you can complete it online or feel free to print it out). Along with this form, I will send you a list of documents I’ll need you to collect for me to complete the estate planning portion of your legacy plan. This includes things like previously executed estate plans, property deeds, marital agreements, LLC operating agreements, and the like. You must submit this form and these documents to me (digital or hard copy) no later than 1 week before your Design Meeting.
If you don’t have an existing legacy plan, the goal of the Design Meeting is to set out the details of your estate plan. To do this well, you will need to submit your preparatory documents to me at least one week prior to your appointment so that I can be best prepared to advise you on your specific wants and needs.
We will discuss various options regarding your wishes for how you want your tangible property distributed, who will make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated or pass away, who will advocate for your medical needs, who will care for your children, and much more. We will discuss various choices and I’ll make recommendations based on your particular situation. At the end of the meeting, we’ll have a clear blueprint that I will use to build you a comprehensive estate plan.
Once the design of your estate plan is complete, we will discuss the second component of your legacy: your deliberate family plan. This plan is the best way to ensure a smooth, conflict-free transfer of both your tangible and intangible assets. Together, we will go over the various planning tools and decide which ones you would like to employ.
If you do have an existing estate or legacy plan, we will review it and discuss your desired changes. We will determine whether an Amendment or Restatement is more appropriate.
If you have them, we will review your:
- Prenup/Marital Agreement
- Estate Plan
- Advanced Directive/Living Will
- Financial Powers of Attorney
- Healthcare Powers of Attorney
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Business Succession Plan
- Life Insurance Plan
- Retirement Plan
- Family Plan
Note: The Design Meeting typically takes 2 to 4 hours to complete (often depending on how prepared you are). Please plan accordingly.
The next time we meet will be to review the documents that make up your estate plan. We will go through the documents together and ensure that you understand them and that they achieve your goals. At this time, we will discuss any remaining questions and mark any necessary changes. Once the review is complete, we will schedule your Signing Meeting and your Legacy Interview.
The Signing Meeting is our final “formal” meeting and the moment you will sign all of the documents that make up your estate plan. Your documents will be witnessed and notarized, then I will take them back to my office to digitize them.
Note: You do not receive your estate planning documents at this meeting because I still need to digitize them.
After your Signing Meeting, we will conduct your Legacy Interview (on the same day or another day that is convenient for you). A Legacy Interview involves you and me sitting down together so that you can share your stories and I can record them for your family. I know it probably seems off-putting to tell your personal stories to a relative stranger, but don’t worry—by this time I will be a trusted confidant.
One week before the interview, I will send you a “guide” that will outline our conversation and help you informally prepare. This is also a good time to collect your photos and historic documents for digitizing (if you choose to take advantage of that service).
Note: The video component of this interview may also serve as proof of your mental capacity at the time of making your estate plan.
If you elect for me to complete your trust funding and asset alignment, I will do so at this phase of the legacy planning process. If you do not elect for me to complete your trust funding and asset alignment for you, we will discuss how you must do so at the end of the signing meeting. We will go over instructions to assist you in handling all of your assets, retitling each of your accounts, and updating all of your beneficiary designations. You must complete your trust funding and asset alignment prior to the Family Meeting.
Note: If you own real estate that needs to be retitled, we can also do that during this time.
Family engagement in the deliberate family planning process is the key to your legacy’s ultimate success. Through the Family Meeting, you have the ability to take charge of your family brand and shape it intentionally by utilizing specific tools to define and communicate the values that matter most to you. This is the time to implement the family planning tools discussed during the Design Meeting. The power and longevity of your family brand will be a reflection of how effectively you communicate these values and instill them in the next generation.
The Family Meeting also provides you the opportunity to discuss as much of your plan as you would like to share in an effort to prepare your loved ones for future responsibilities. This is a good time to introduce your lawyer (me) and to discuss particulars like where to locate your critical documents, who holds powers of attorney and HIPAA authorizations, who takes leadership of the family business, etc. Discussing this with your family in advance will considerably lessen the burden, confusion, and opportunity for conflict that often occurs at a time when they should be left in peace to grieve.
You can use this time to prepare and educate your children for what lies ahead, whether it be managing wealth or being a good human being—preferably both.
At your Family Meeting, you will also receive a binder containing your estate plan documents (originals) and a record of your asset alignment (if I completed it for you). You will also receive a USB drive containing all (uneditable) documents. I will retain digital copies of all documents in secure digital document storage.
You don’t just need a legacy plan, you need peace of mind. All too often, a legacy plan that is entirely effective at the time it was drafted becomes woefully out of date by the time it’s needed. The law is ever-changing, and inevitably families and assets change, too. I believe that an ongoing relationship is necessary to ensure your legacy plan is accurate, your loved ones are kept updated and informed, and your family remains “on brand.” To accomplish this, I recommend we review your legacy plan and asset alignment annually.
Note: If you elect to take advantage of my legacy sustainability plan, your legacy plan will be reviewed and updated* annually (without your having to remember to request it).
*Includes minor updates and updates needed to remain aligned with current law. Major changes may incur an additional fee.
PICK A PLAN THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU