The LifeSpan Plan Development Navigator™
The Design Process
Click below on each stage of our plan design process to learn more about each appointment.
Education: Everyone starts by attending a Truth About Estate Planning™ orientation class we offer every few weeks. In this three-hour, interactive program, you will learn about the process that will produce results, not just “documents” that “promise” results (which seems to be the industry standard).
After attending the Truth About Estate Planning™ orientation program, you will have the opportunity to meet with us individually. This starts with an exchange of information: our paralegal team gathers information from you about your goals, concerns, family and estate; and we give you information and worksheets to help you explore your planning possibilities, and to prepare you to make the most of your initial consultation with the attorney.
You meet with an attorney to get your questions about the process answered. General planning goals will be discussed, but no decisions will be made during this meeting. You are still exploring the relationship, to see if you will be comfortable working with our firm. A fee quote (including variations that you can choose from) is provided. Then you go home to decide whether you want to work with us. Everything to this point is complimentary: your only investment is time and attention.
Those clients who decide to proceed with us will typically spend no less than three hours (sometimes much longer) with an attorney, co-creating the very personalized legal plan to carry out your goals and objectives. Be prepared to explore your future, your family, your faith, your finances, and your fears! We’ll help you sort through the possibilities and make decisions. Decisions made here, however, are not set in stone. Life changes and wisdom grows! You won’t lock yourself in to an unchangeable plan, so you’ll have time to reconsider, refine and revise the plan.
Here you will spend several hours reviewing the plan documents in detail, fine-tuning them where needed. You will typically sign wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents during this meeting.
Estate planning is not just lawyer work; your other professionals should be involved. For an Advisor Review Session, with your permission, we send design information and financial data to your preferred financial professional to prepare for this appointment, during which you and your attorney meet with your financial professional in person to secure their financial advice and recommendations. It is amazing how many financial “holes” are discovered and how much your financial security can be enhanced as a result of having other professionals talk to each other, with you. Alternatively, this appointment is sometimes used for a review of your estate plan with family members; a discussion of business succession planning; or a discussion of advanced tax planning.
No estate plan will really work unless all assets are “lined up with” the plan. We meet with you to review and sign all documents needed to re-title assets to follow your newly developed estate plan. Deeds, account transfer forms, beneficiary designations, and other forms are reviewed, signed and sent as needed. You’ll find that our team goes the extra mile here, without a doubt, leaving nothing to chance–nor for you to “do it yourself.”
Two primary objectives occur at this appointment. First, we begin the “maintenance” phase of the legal planning, to keep the plan up-to-date over time, to assure assets follow the plan, and to engage your family in the process. Second, we pause to look again at whether your plan is meeting your goals of passing on wisdom instead of just material wealth. The “project” of transferring values, character and beliefs is not so much accomplished through legal documents as through relationships.