Frequently asked questions

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Why do I need an estate plan?
You have an estate! It sounds fancy but it really just means all your stuff, no matter how much or how little that is. We happily serve, with equal respect, clients with relatively small to very high net worth estates. You need to make a plan for who will take care of all your stuff if you ever can’t and what should happen with all your stuff after you die. A good estate plan that every adult needs will go well beyond those basics (Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy) though.

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you don’t have an estate plan, the state has a one-size-fits-all plan for you, your family, and your assets.  First, your loved ones will have to gather all your financial details to submit to the Family and Probate Court.  Then a Judge will decide who should be in charge of your assets, who should be legal guardian of your children if they are minors, and who should get all of your assets when. 

Your loved ones can try to do this all themselves, but it is a lot of very detailed and time-consuming work, especially when people are busy trying to grieve a loss. They can hire a lawyer to help them, but the costs are often greater than if you had had a comprehensive, detailed, organized estate plan in place.

Those with larger estates can better afford to spend money on estate administration fees as the remaining assets will still be sufficient to provide comfort and/or a solid foundation for their loved ones.  Those with smaller estates have more to lose by not having their affairs in order to protect and provide for their loved ones. 

How can I provide financial security and leave a legacy for my loved ones?

We'll provide you with choices about how to structure your plan to make sure your family is as comfortable and financially secure as possible (and as you wish).  

How do I protect my assets from lawsuits, divorce, and other risks?  

When you meet with our lawyer you'll discuss and evaluate your unique risks, learn about the different options you have to try to protect against them, and determine which are best suited to your specific circumstances. 

How can I support trustworthy charities that are important to me?

If you are interested in leaving money to charity, we can help you figure out the best ways to go about doing that based on your intended gifts, the particular charities, and the rest of your estate planning goals. 

What if I don’t have much of an estate?
You probably have a lot more than you think. A good estate plan isn’t just for the very wealthy. There is much comfort and pleasure that money can buy but it certainly can't buy everything and a good estate plan is about so much more than money. You have yourself and the people you love and you probably care about what happens in those respects.  Those are usually the most important considerations in a good estate plan.

Do I have to have it all figured out before I meet with you?
Absolutely not! That’s why we’re here.  We will help you organize your information and provide you with enough legal counseling and advice to help you make the best possible decisions for your own family and finances. Calling our office is the first step toward genuine peace of mind.

How much are the lawyer fees for a Will, trust, and estate plan?

Our fees for professional legal services are not the highest or the lowest around, but they are carefully calculated to provide you with the most comprehensive service and best professional legal counseling and advice.

Because we have the experience to know what it will take to deliver your unique estate plan, we are able to set and charge flat fees for most of our services. Once we determine what type of estate plan will best suit your needs and accomplish your goals based on your unique family and financial circumstances (such as whether you have minor children, complex assets or family circumstances, are a U.S. citizen, have an estate taxable estate, have a blended family, etc.), then we will be able to identify your precise, flat, legal fee so there are no surprises.

To give you a sense, our comprehensive planning fees generally range between about $1,500 and $9,750. We also offer limited scope legal service packages for young adults, new parents, and retirees who may need or be looking for a less comprehensive plan to address only their most pressing concerns. We know that legal fees can be a big expense but we want to help you prioritize and get this critically important safeguard in place as soon as possible so you and your family will be well protected. We accept credit card payments to help make it easier for you to budget and obtain the plan you need now.

If you are a graduating high school senior headed off to college or you are just starting your first job, we have the right-sized plan for you.  If you are expecting your first baby or you just had a new baby and are looking to buy your first home, we have the right-sized plan for you.  If your children are grown and you are downsizing and heading into retirement, we have the right-sized plan for you.  Whatever stage of life you are in right now, we know how to help you plan for and protect what matters most to you.

How can I keep the fees down?
By completing your intake worksheet thoroughly and providing as much information as possible up front, coming to your initial meeting prepared to make big decisions, and responding to requests for follow up information and confirmations, you will help keep the process moving along to avoid unnecessary delays and reduce costs of providing you with these legal services.

Do you offer FREE initial consultations?​​

Please visit the "Fees and Payments" page of our website.

What happens after I get my new estate plan?

You will need to dust off and review your estate plan at least once a year and as your family and financial situations change during your lifetime, you will likely need to make at least minor changes. To help make sure your plan always reflects your wishes and works how you want it to work, we offer complimentary reviews for all our clients every 3 years.