The Estate Planning Process at Mid-America Law Practice, LLC
Protecting Your Most Precious Asset—You & Your Family
We realize that most people do not like to think about death or dying. There are many emotions like worry and sadness that are evoked when thinking of one’s death or the death of a loved one. Some may feel that it is easy just to avoid the estate planning process altogether. At Mid-America Law Practice, LLC we educate and carefully guide you through the estate planning process so you do not feel overwhelmed. Our primary goal is that you have peace of mind when the process is complete being rest assured that you have a plan specially crafted for you and your family.
How to get started
The estate planning process begins by scheduling a complimentary meeting to discuss your concerns and goals. We have an Estate Planning Questionnaire that we would like you to fill out so we can assess what type of plan will work best for you and your family. The purpose of the questionnaire is to assist us in making the initial meeting as productive as possible. We would like it if you would return the questionnaire prior to the initial meeting. If the questionnaire is not complete, don’t worry—you can bring it with you to the initial meeting. At this point in the process, we don’t expect you to search for every document or provide us with every financial detail. Instead, you should focus on the amount, type, and ownership (husband, wife or joint) of your assets. We have a secure client portal to which you can upload your worksheet for us to review before the 30 minute complimentary meeting.
30 minute Complimentary Meeting
The first meeting forms the basis of our relationship. We will tell you about our firm and the overall estate planning process. Most importantly, we want to learn more about you and your family. We will ask you about your family and your goals, values, and aspirations, and whether there is any particular situation that prompted you to come to our office, which you would like us to address. The more we learn about you, your family, and your values, the better we can assist in designing your plan and your lasting legacy. We will also educate you on the basic laws involved. If you have had a plan before, please bring that in so we can review it and make appropriate recommendations.
The Legacy Design/ Worksheet Completion
Prior to the second meeting we will send you an engagement letter with a description of the documents required for your plan along with the legal fee. We ask that you sign and send it back to us together with one half of our fee prior to this meeting. Because we find that clients prefer not to be presented with hourly bills and like for our clients to feel comfortable calling and communicating with us without incurring a charge, we provide a flat price in designing your trust or will based plan. We will set you up with our secure client portal where you will be able to send messages and upload files with your sensitive information. We will provide you with another worksheet in order to customize your family’s unique documents. This is where you will choose your successor trustee/executors, the guardian of you minor children, and the power of attorney agents.
We will set up a phone or virtual meeting to answer any of your questions regarding the worksheet and design of your plan.
Review meeting (Zoom or phone)
We will be uploading the draft of all your documents to your secure portal and we will review the documents with you to ensure that your estate plan reflects all of your wishes and make any necessary changes prior to the signing ceremony.
The Signing Ceremony
Once your plan is designed, we will schedule the signing ceremony where you will sign the documents for your estate plan in front of two witnesses and a Notary. This usually takes 15-30 minutes.
Executing the Plan/Binder Pickup
You will not receive your estate planning documents during your signing ceremony. Instead, we will be scanning all your documents and uploading them to your portal so you to share them with your successor trustees and agents. Additionally, we will organize your documents in a beautiful estate planning binder. Once your binder is ready, we will then schedule a date for pick up.
An estate plan is not effective unless it is properly funded. We make sure that we have advised you of what is entailed. We will also follow up with you regarding your funding/retitling efforts.
Your plan should be reviewed and updated regularly, as assets are purchased and sold and/ or when a major life event has occurred (eg. divorce, remarriage, birth of a child, death of a beneficiary, and so on). If there are changes to estate laws that may impact you, we will contact you. From time to time we will either send you an e-mail or mail you a newsletter with educational materials and legal news. Our goal is to be your trusted advisor who you can rely on. Additionally, we offer an estate planning maintenance package where we meet with you on an annual basis to review your estate plan and if needed make changes or updates. We value our relationships with our clients and look forward to growing with you and your families.