Our Five Step Estate Planning Process

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | Estate Planning |

  1. Initial consultation

During the initial consultation, you’ll meet with Darcel to discuss your wants and needs for your estate plan, go over questions and concerns you have for your estate plan and the individuals listed in your estate plan, and what documents will be needed to achieve your financial planning goals. At the end of our consultation, a flat price will be quoted for us to assist you with your estate planning needs.

  1. Document drafting

Once our office is retained (engagement agreement signed and returned to us along with payment of the fee quoted) we will begin drafting your estate planning documents. Depending on our current caseload at the time, we will usually have documents prepared and to you for your review and approval within two to three weeks.

  1. Client review

Your draft documents will be delivered to you for review either electronically in our secure portal or by mail, whichever is your preference. Once you’ve reviewed and approved, we will schedule a date and time for us to meet at our office to sign and notarize the documents. Our office provides the two witnesses and notary needed for the signing.

  1. Client signing

Since the estate planning documents have been review and approved prior to the signing appointment, the signing appointment is generally a short appointment, usually 10-15 minutes. After the signing, our office will prepare an estate planning binder for you which will include not only your estate planning documents, but instructions for your loved ones regarding what to do when someone passes away (who to contact, how to obtain death certificates, etc). In addition, in the back of your binder, you will find forms that you may elect to complete if you are comfortable doing so, with information that will be helpful to your loved ones (access information for online accounts, contact information for CPA and/or financial planner, banking information, etc). This information in the back of your binder can be completed at your

leisure and to the extent you are comfortable listing this information.

  1. Document delivery

After signing, your binder is generally ready for pickup one week later. If you are unable to come to the office to pick up your binder, we are happy to mail it to you. Your original estate planning documents are in the binder provided to you; our office does not retain the originals. We retain a copy and we are happy to make copies of your estate planning documents for you as well, please just let us know during your signing appointment. For your binder, while you want to store it in a safe place, you also want to ensure that the people who need access to your binder (your Trustee, Personal Representative, Power of Attorney) have access to the binder as well. If you place your binder if a safe at home, ensure they know the code or have access to the key. If you store it in a safe deposit box at your bank, ensure they are listed as having access to your safe deposit box with your bank.

If you would like to work with our office to prepare your estate plan, give us a call or text at (206) 408-8158 and we would be happy to help you. You can also email Darcel directly at [email protected].