Preparing for Certainties in Life (Death & Taxes): Part 1 December 2, 2021

JRH headshotBreaking Down the Estate Planning Process

By Jennifer R. Hallos, Esq.

You’re ready to embark on the journey of securing your assets with an estate plan and Jen Hallos, a Principal in our Trust & Estates and Tax Law practice groups, is here to help you along. What does her estate planning process look like?

1.) Information Gathering. Jen will begin by sending you her EPQ (Estate Planning Questionnaire). This form asks for basic information like names, dates of birth, addresses, names of children, etc. The form also asks for financial information. Gathering this information allows for a more efficient introductory meeting.

2.) Introductory Meeting. You will then meet with Jen for an educational and informative introductory meeting. Using the information provided in the EPQ, she will provide her recommendations and explain the reasoning for them. She will outline the decisions the client needs to make such as who is going to serve in the various roles of the client’s plan. Such roles include executors, trustees, guardians, and powers of attorney. Jen explains what these roles mean and makes recommendations for who may be the best fit for each.

3.) Summary of Information, Objectives, and Deliverables. After your meeting, she will follow up with a letter summarizing your discussion as well as outlining the decisions that need to be made.

4.) Document Drafting. Once the client provides Jen with their decisions, Jen and her team begin the drafting process. She then provides copies of the drafts along with an easy-to-understand summary of the same.

5.) Finalization. Jen and the client then meet to review the documents in detail. Once approved, the documents are signed.

Jen often receives client feedback expressing how glad they are to have gotten that checked off their to do list. Now that you have the foundation set, any adjustments to be made in the future won’t require repeating the process all over again. Moving forward, Jen will check in with you every four to five years to review the contents of your plan and adjust as necessary.

It is important to note that you should report life events, as they happen, to your attorney. Examples of notable life events include the birth of a child or the start of a new business. Keeping your plan up to date to include these changes will ensure that your plan serves you in your best interest.

Please reach out to request a consultation so we can help you prepare these documents and protect you and your family.

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