For most individuals and families with $5 million or less of assets, a foundational estate plan will address all of their needs. The process for foundational planning includes all the steps of our Laureate process, but they are combined into fewer meetings. Most foundational clients come in to our office three times and they sign their estate plan within 4-6 weeks of their first call to our office.
Our process begins when a client or advisor calls our office. During this call, we gain a basic understanding of the individual’s situation and concerns. We provide some information about our firm, and schedule a time for the client, and their trusted advisors if desired, to meet with us.
Before we can make any recommendations about how best to address an individual client or family’s concerns, we need to understand the client, their goals and preferences, their family and the dynamics, and the resources and assets available. To streamline this process, we gather the hard data in the form of a questionnaire, and then meet to discuss the more personal matters.
Gather & Evaluate Information
We send out an introductory package to confirm the Initial Visit, and to provide a Confidential Client Profile, driving directions, an explanation of the process, basic information about estate planning and our firm. To make the most of our time together, we perform a detailed evaluation of the family and their wealth in advance of the Initial Visit.
During the initial visit, we learn more about the client’s personal goals and wishes and discuss options for achieving those, taking into account the individual family dynamics. We review the results of our evaluation and talk about how we can help. If we both feel that we are a good fit, and if time permits, we go right into the Design phase. As an option, we may schedule the Design as a separate meeting, along with the signing ceremony where we implement your estate plan.
During the Design phase, we counsel the client through an array of possibilities and together we design a family protection plan for the management and transfer of wealth. Fees, timelines and expectations are put into writing. Click here to learn more about what we talk about during our Design Meeting.
Behind the Scenes
After we meet and counsel the client through the myriad decisions, implications and contingencies involved in their plan, we go to work creating the legal documents to put the plan into place. Much work is done in our office during this phase, so that everything is complete and accurate before our next meeting.
After we confirm the details and create the legal documents that will effectuate the client’s goals and wishes, we meet to review them together. We answer any remaining questions and present the client with the completed plan for signing. The plan is implemented by signing legal documents, updating beneficiary designations and making title changes as needed.
SuccessPlan™ Maintenance Program
Most estate plans fail because they are not properly maintained or kept current. Periodic review and updating a client’s plan will help to ensure that their true goals and desires will be honored as they evolve over time. Our SuccessPlan™ Maintenance Program entitles members to free or discounted updates and upgrades to their estate plan, educational and social events, and ongoing telephonic access to our attorneys and staff.
Succession – Trust Administration
When a client or spouse loses capacity or passes away, we’re here to administer the transition of the estate plan through our Succession Process. Click here for more information on how we administer the succession process.
Foundational estate plans are available starting at $900 for will-based plans and $2,400 for trust-based plans. Payment plans are available and we accept credit cards. If you are at a milestone in your life, or if you simply want the peace of mind of knowing that the tough decisions have been made, now is the time to begin the planning process.
Please call our Client Resources Coordinator at 650.525.0234 to schedule an Initial Visit with one of our attorneys.
If you like, you can download the appropriate Confidential Client Profile from our Client Forms page and begin gathering the requested information, or wait for our package to arrive in the mail.