Our Estate Planning Process
At the Socius Law Firm, we have established a unique estate planning process where we listen and learn about you, your family and personal circumstances, thoroughly explain the estate planning options available to you and custom design, implement and maintain a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your specific concerns, fears, goals and objectives. Our estate planning process is designed to ensure your confidence at each step along the way, from the initial planning meeting through the delivery and implementation of your completed plan and beyond. The ultimate outcome of our estate planning process, which is highlighted step-by step below, is to give you peace of mind.
Step 1 / Schedule Initial Planning Meeting Appointment
We all like to put off important tasks and wait until the very last minute, this includes estate planning. There is always “something” that would be more fun to spend time doing or money on. However, honestly there are few things that are more important and none that are a better investment for yourself and your family. Take the first step…
Step 2 / Complete the Estate Planning Questionnaire
After you schedule your Initial Estate Planning Meeting, we ask you complete the Estate Planning Questionnaire and return it to our office at least 3 days in advance of your appointment.
The Estate Planning Questionnaire is designed to help you organize your family and financial information, while also assisting us in understanding your personal goals and circumstances so we can make our first meeting as productive as possible. The information that you provide is strictly confidential.
Our Estate Planning Questionnaires
Step 3 / Attend Your Initial Planning Meeting
For new clients, the Initial Planning Meeting is where the relationship with the Socius Law Firm begins. The Initial Planning Meeting provides an opportunity for us determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm. During our meeting, we will: (i) learn about you, your family and personal circumstances and discuss your concerns, fears, goals and objectives, and any other issues identified in the Estate Planning Questionnaire that require further consideration; (ii) teach you about the law and your estate planning options; and, (iii) discuss what would happen if you were incapacitated or passed away with your current plan or without any plan. By looking at what would happen under your current plan, you can identify what you would want to happen differently.
Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, we will help you to choose the estate planning option that will give you peace of mind knowing that your family would be taken care of in the way you want if something happened to you (we have four different estate planning levels to accommodate your needs – our fees begin at $1,200.00 and they are all-inclusive, so there are no surprises). Then we will design your estate plan and draft the legal documents that are necessary to implement your estate plan.
Step 4 / The Design Meeting
Depending on the estate planning option you choose and complexity of your situation, the design step may occur during your Initial Planning Meeting or during a separate Design Meeting. During this meeting, we will work together to create a customized estate plan that that reflects your concerns, fears, goals and objectives and provides you with peace of mind. We will discuss various options regarding distribution of your assets, who will make financial decisions for you after you pass or become incapacitated, who will advocate for your medical needs, who will care for your children, etc. We will give you various choices and make recommendations based on your personal circumstances. At the end of the meeting, you will have a clear understanding of how your plan works and we will have a clear blueprint for which to draft your estate planning documents.
Step 5 / The Signing & Portfolio Delivery Meeting
After your estate planning documents are finalized, we will schedule a meeting for you to return to our office to review and sign your estate planning documents.
After you sign your estate planning documents, we scan and upload electronic copies of your original documents to the Socius Client Portal. We will also provide you with all of your original documents in an estate planning portfolio.
Lastly, if you choose to be responsible for the initial funding of your Trust on your own, we will ensure that you fully understand how to fund your Trust and provide follow-up guidance and support.
Step 6 / The Signing & Portfolio Delivery Meeting
At most estate planning law firms, the relationship ends when you sign your documents. This is where the Socius Law Firm is very different. We believe your estate plan should be reviewed and refined on a regular basis to ensure that it always remains up-to-date consistent with your goals and objectives. This is why we include a complimentary review of all of our clients’ estate plans at least once every three years. We also provide you with access to our webinars, newsletters and blogs and offer annual membership programs if you wish to review your estate plan on a more frequent basis or desire even more continued services from us. Finally, we are always here for you and we don’t charge you for phone calls or emails. We welcome your communications!