I’ve received many calls from prospective clients that start out like this: We are taking a big trip to Disney and the entire family will be on the plane together, we need to update our Wills! So are you planning a big trip with your family? Do you have all your legal documents in order in case there is an emergency?
In Massachusetts, public schools have vacation April 17th through the 21st. The timing to get your estate plan done is tight, but it can be done if you are ready to get it done. One client came to me motivated to get their plan updated. I explained that our office can draft and execute the plan quickly, but that it depends on the client getting us the information we need to get it done. Here is how our process works. We schedule an initial consult with the client. Prior to the consult, the client fills out a questionnaire that asks about their finances, their family, and their concerns. We ask for finances in particular because how we draft your estate plan depends on the type of assets that you have. We cannot give recommendations unless we know what we are working with. It’s like a medical doctor visit where you have to fill out your medical history and let the doctor examine you; the doctor can’t treat you unless she knows the full story.
In the consultation, we go over the probate process, the estate tax in Massachusetts, and all the other documents that we recommend. We also discuss what the client’s goals are so that the attorney can give recommendations on how to accomplish them. In the consultation meeting, the attorney will give the flat fee amount for those particular documents.
That same day the attorney sends a fee agreement to the client which can be electronically signed. Once we receive the fee agreement back, we send a follow-up questionnaire asking the client to tell us who they would like to name in their documents. We also schedule a document review meeting and a document signing time. Therefore, when you sign up you know when it will be completed. The actual document review meeting is usually only half an hour because we record videos of the documents that we have drafted for you. We send the videos to you so that you can watch them when it is a good time for you. That way, when we meet face-to-face to go over the documents, you already have a solid understanding of how they work. You can even email the attorney with questions in advance of the meeting. And our meetings are mostly over Zoom. This helps our clients save time so that they do not have to drive to our office except for the document signing appointment.
The document signing appointment does require you to come to our office. Our document signings require two witnesses and one notary. We provide those, so all you have to do is show up and follow the parking instructions. We do more than one signing at a time because our clients stay in their cars and the witnesses and notary stand outside the car to watch your sign the documents. All your documents will be flagged on where to sign, and we put the signatures page on top. All of our documents have the name in the footer, so it’s clear which document you are signing. Again, this usually takes only 15 minutes. Our clients are busy people, so we do our best to respect that.
Now the chances of a plane crash are 1 in 11 million according to my Google search, but the fear of it is so common. Our firm is a great fit for clients who make a list of what needs to be done before vacation and they tackle that list. We can help you check off that box! Call us at 508.532.8689 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before you get on the plane so that you have peace of mind while visiting the most magical place on Earth!
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209 West Central Street
Natick, MA 01760
Ladimer Law specializes in estate planning. We protect our clients, their heirs, and their assets by listening closely, knowing the law, and executing estate plans that fit and evolve.