Initial meetings typically last about 1.5 hours. At the initial meeting, we will review the information you've provided us to make sure we understand your family and financial circumstances, and we will address any special concerns you have. We will formulate a plan for how to proceed and then provide you with a fixed fee quote for your basic estate planning documents.
For basic estate planning documents, we will collect the fixed fee in three stages. 10% of the total fee will be charged to you after the initial meeting. 75% of the fee will be billed when we deliver draft documents to you, and the final balance of 15% of the total fee will be collected once we have delivered an electronic or printed file containing your executed documents.
Once the documents are signed, you will receive an electronic file via your secure client portal that includes PDFs of the final documents, the written and pictorial summary, and instructions for the funding and administration of any trusts we create. Your documents will always be available on your portal, and we can store other important documents for you there as well. If you elect, we will also mail you a binder with hard copies of the documents.
If additional work is needed to fund trusts, transfer assets or change beneficiary designations, we will charge our normally hourly rates on a monthly basis.
We will give a percentage of your fees to one of three charitable organizations. At the end of our fiscal year, you will have an opportunity to select which charity we should support on your behalf. Read more about the organizations we're currently supporting.
We recommend that a reserve be set aside to cover anticipated estate taxes and expenses. Once the federal and/or state governments have issued their "closing letters" certifying that no further tax is due, the reserve can be distributed and the estate closed.
We will also meet with the trustees, investment advisors and accountants for the trust at least once a year to help ensure the trust is being administered in accordance with the trust instrument and as required by state law. These services are typically performed on an hourly basis and charged to the trust.