We know the thought of planning your estate can feel overwhelming and complicated, so we’ve broken our estate planning process down into five simple and easy steps. Check them out below:

Step 1: Consultation

What to Expect:

The consultation is the initial meeting that gives us an opportunity to get to know you and answer your questions about estate planning. Typically, Josh and one other team member will meet with you to learn about you and your needs, ask questions about your family and assets, and explain different estate planning options to you.

Want to get to know Josh a little before you come in? Click here.

Don’t worry if you are undecided about your beneficiaries, and don’t feel obligated to bring in paperwork or know the exact values of any assets. We typically only need an estimate of the value of your assets during the consultation.

After we understand your goals, we will discuss different estate planning options and recommend one or more for you. Most of the time we are able to give you the cost of our recommended options at that time.

For a list of common questions asked during consultations, click here. At the end of the consultation, we ask you to provide us with the correct spelling for your family, beneficiaries, and agents, along with phone numbers for your agents. If you don’t have them, we can easily get them later.

Timing:

Our initial consultations last about 1 hour.

Step 2: Engagement

What to Expect:

If you decide you want to move forward with your estate plan after our consultation, we will send you what’s called an engagement letter.

This engagement letter is an agreement between you and us which contains:

  • a description of the work we will do for you,
  • our legal obligations to you,
  • what we need and expect from you,
  • and the cost.

Depending on the situation, we may give you the engagement letter during the consultation, or mail or email it to you after the consultation. If you use email, we’re also able to send you the engagement letter via SignNow, an app that allows you to sign the engagement letter electronically. Until you sign the engagement letter, you have no obligation to us. We will not start working on your documents until you sign the engagement letter.

Timing:

Our goal is to send you the engagement letter the same day as the consultation. There is no deadline for you to sign the engagement letter, but we will check in on you if we don’t hear back within a week or two.

Step 3: Document Preparation

What to Expect:

After we receive the signed engagement letter and the filled-out questionnaire, we will begin drafting the documents for your estate plan.

We will use the information you provided to us during the consultation and in the questionnaire to draft your estate planning documents.

On a rare occasion, we may reach out to you for clarification or additional information about some parts of the documents. However, for the most part, you will not hear anything from us during the process. Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions or concerns during this time.

Timing:

We try to provide you with drafts of the documents within 2-3 weeks of receiving the engagement letter and the questionnaire.

Step 4: Document Review

What to Expect:

After we have completed the first draft of your estate documents, we will send them to you along with a letter explaining them. We ask that you read the letter first, and then the documents.

After you have read everything, please call or email us with any changes, questions or comments you have. If it is helpful, we can schedule another meeting to go over the documents and your questions. After we have answered your questions and made necessary changes, we will send you revised drafts of the documents for another review.

Timing:

The timing of the document review is completely up to you. However, if we do not hear from you for more than a few weeks, we will check in to see how the review is going and if we can answer any further questions.

Step 5: Document Execution

What to Expect:

After you have approved your documents, we will schedule a time for you to come to our office to sign them.

Each estate document has different requirements for how they must be signed, so we prefer to have you sign everything in our office to ensure all the requirements are met. When you come in for this meeting, we will go over the documents with you a final time to make sure that they are correct.  Then we will provide witnesses and a notary and walk you through the process of signing each document correctly.

Once the documents are signed, we will make a copy of the original documents for our files, then provide the original documents to you in a personalized Estate Binder. Of course, we will be happy to answer any additional questions you have throughout this process.

Timing:

It normally takes around 30 minutes to review the documents and go through the process of signing them.

 

Ready to begin your estate planning process? Click here to request your free consultation with our team.

 

 

 

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We look forward to putting over a decade of experience and creative expertise toward your legal needs.

Joshua Eugene HummerReviewsout of 34 reviews