So many people who come in to see us do not understand the estate plan they have or do not know what is in their current plan. Some of the reasons for this are (1) time has inevitably blurred their memories, (2) the plan may be written in legalese and was never properly explained to them, (3) they may have misconceptions and misunderstandings of what their plan is; and (4) their lawyer may have lacked the knowledge required to find the right solution for their family in the event of death and disability. To this we say, “if you don’t understand the plan, you don’t have a plan.”
Ettinger Law Firm developed a process, in use for over thirty years, to avoid these problems. First, we offer a free initial consultation to go over the pros and cons of having a will or a trust and the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts. So many people have misconceptions about trusts based on what friends have said or what they have read on the internet. For example, many clients are afraid to create an irrevocable trust because they think they will lose control. We explain why that is incorrect and how you can still change the trustee, change who you leave it to, take money out and even how you can revoke an irrevocable trust!
After the overview provided in the initial consultation, we give you a copy of our plain English book, “Elder Law Estate Planning”, and advise which chapters apply to your situation — maybe an hour or so of reading. We also invite you to watch the thirty minute estate planning video at trustlaw.com.
We arrange for you to come in about two weeks later for a second free consultation to have any remaining questions answered, draft an estate plan together with the new “knowledgeable” you and give you a written proposal. Once you accept, we arrange for the signing and completion of your estate plan two or three weeks later. From start to finish the process usually takes about eight weeks.
Finally, we call you in for a free review every three years to review your plan, refresh your recollection and update where necessary so your estate plan works when you need it