A UNIQUE APPROACH THAT’S DESIGNED AROUND YOU
Estate Planning is a long-term relationship that addresses sensitive topics, so it’s important that both you and the law firm you retain feel like it’s a good fit. Dawson Law LLP® doesn’t retain every potential client—it’s as much an interview for you as it is for us. When you’re considering different attorneys, having a general understanding of the estate planning process can be helpful. To help determine if we’re a good fit, the information below provides a general description of the Firm’s process, and you’re encouraged to review the Firm’s attorney profiles, other information on this website, and the Firm’s pricing page.
1. WHEN THE FIRM ISN'T A GOOD FIT
Many firms advertise why they’re the right choice, but when you’re deciding who to work with, it’s equally important to understand when a firm may not be a good fit. Dawson Law LLP® creates customized estate plans, not simple fill-in-the-blank forms that force every client into the same documents and the same solutions. Online DIY document mills have done a good job making people believe estate planning is such an easy process, you can just download a document, fill in the blanks, and you’re done. Not surprisingly, these are the documents that keep estate attorneys busy in the courtroom. A proper estate plan takes time, analysis, and focus. Because of this, the Firm isn’t a good fit for those looking for an inexpensive “one-size-fits-all” approach, or those price shopping for the lowest bidder. If you fall into this category, a different Firm may be a better choice, and there’s no shortage of less expensive options. If you appreciate a quality product and subscribe to the adage that “you get what you pay for”, let’s keep the conversation going.
2. THE INITIAL CONSULTATION
For most people, the hardest part about completing their estate plan is taking the initiative to get started. In contrast to what you might have heard or experienced with other law firms in the past, the Firm’s unique approach does away with the traditional, arduous process that can be difficult to understand. Instead of being told what to do, you’re brought into the planning process through education and goal planning. The initial consultation gets the ball rolling, and it gives the Firm an opportunity to better understand your needs.
3. THE INTAKE QUESTIONNAIRE
If the Firm agrees to represent you, we’ll prepare an engagement letter and you’ll be asked to complete your client profile, which is designed to solicit estate planning issues that you may not have considered. To help ensure the Firm is prepared, and to determine what areas need to be addressed first, you’ll be required to send us your completed client profile before our first formal meeting. After we’ve been able to review your client profile, we’ll schedule a convenient time for our first formal meeting and will provide you with an agenda of topics to be covered.
4. THE FIRST MEETING
We will start by first discussing your questions and concerns. This is to ensure that your immediate priorities and objectives are addressed, and then we’ll move on to the meeting’s agenda. Part of this process is not only to understand your needs, goals, and concerns, but to better understand you and your family, both as individuals and as a family unit, so the Firm can draft an estate plan that is uniquely suited for you. At this meeting, the Firm will begin to explain estate planning concepts and how they may apply to your situation. Education is key to the Firm’s approach, and you’ll be given options to consider and how certain decisions may affect you during life and after death.
5. DRAFTING STAGE
After our first formal meeting, we may need to schedule follow up meetings. These additional meetings are to ensure your understanding of where we are in your planning stage, for the Firm to be sure you’ve had enough time to consider your options and ask additional questions, and to continue to build on what will ultimately be the foundation for your estate plan. Once we’ve laid the groundwork, the Firm will begin drafting your documents. It’s not uncommon for questions to arise during this stage, and you’ll have the opportunity to re-address areas of concern, ask further questions, and make adjustments. Before the Firm finalizes your documents, we will review draft versions so you can see how your documents work together, discuss the specific provisions that are important to your situation, and we’ll begin to formulate how your estate plan will be implemented.
6. SIGNING CEREMONY
After your documents are ready for execution, we’ll schedule a formal signing ceremony. You will need to bring a valid ID so the documents can be notarized and witnessed. The Firm will retain digital copies, and you’ll be provided with both the electronic copies and the original documents, usually within a few weeks.
7. Funding Your Trust
After you sign your documents, it’s important that your estate plan is properly implemented. If your estate plan includes a trust, it’s vital that you transfer property into it. This is another area where many less expensive options fall short—they simply deliver your documents and conclude representation. Depending on the scope of representation you choose, the Firm will stick with you to ensure that your estate plan is properly implemented, your property is correctly transferred to the trust, and you receive clear instructions on how to purchase property in the name of your trust going forward.
8. STAYING IN TOUCH
There may be times where your estate documents need to be updated. For example, changes in the tax environment, or your desire to change beneficiaries or persons appointed to serve as your agents (Executors, Trustees, Powers of Attorney, etc.). With your permission, the Firm would like to check in with you at least once a year. This is not only to see if changes need to be made to your estate plan, but also to strengthen our relationship. It’s important to us that you feel confident in knowing someone will be here to help with your planning as you enter different seasons of your life.
EXPERIENCED ESTATE PLANNING LAW FIRM
The combination of your trust, Will, and other estate planning documents, prepared by Dawson Law LLP®, are designed to achieve your specific individual goals and to remove your loved ones from the stress of probate. Please contact the Firm at (512) 649-5010 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. To help first consider whether Dawson Law LLP® is a good fit, please review the Firm’s pricing page.
Wealthy individuals and business owners face special challenges when it comes to protecting and passing on their assets to heirs.