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Estate Planning Process

How do I Get an Estate Plan?


In order to provide customized estate plans for our clients, Black & Black has developed a four-step planning process specially designed to be both comprehensive and efficient. 

As estate planning lawyers, our goal is to start and complete the estate planning process with you in three to four weeks from the initial consultation.


Step One: Week 1 - The Initial Consultation Meeting


Prior to any consultation, you will receive confirmation of your meeting date and time, and a simple worksheet to complete and bring with you to your appointment. Our planning process starts with a one-hour initial consultation meeting. In this meeting, we work together to determines your wishes, desires, special needs, and concerns, answer your questions, and outline various estate planning options that are available.


If the joint decision is made at the end of the consultation meeting to engage us to prepare your estate plan, then an Engagement Letter is signed, and a deposit of one-half of the agreed upon fee based on the initial level of planning desired is paid. 


Depending on the level of estate planning selected, you will either be interviewed for your estate planning choices as part of the Initial Consultation, or you will then receive a questionnaire to complete as your “homework” prior to your next meeting with us, the Plan Design Meeting.


Step Two: Week 2 or Week 3 - The Plan Design Meeting


If a Plan Design is scheduled, you will meet with us and review your homework assignment. This meeting is when we discuss the planning strategy in its entirety and provide you with a summary of the overall plan. The objective of our plan summary is to simplify the discussion concentrating on an overall understanding of what the plan entails. At this point, we want to make sure that you are comfortable that all of your wishes have been addressed including any issues left open from our previous meeting.


Step Three: Week 3 or Week 4 – The Review


Once your plan is designed, we will send you a copy of the dispositive provisions to make any revisions as you see fit. If you have any questions, we will schedule an appointment to discuss those questions and ensure that everything in your plan meets your desired goals and wishes for your family. We will continue to make any revision(s) and have you review the dispositive provisions until everything is confirmed correct. 


Upon receiving confirmation that everything is as you want it, we will schedule the Signing Ceremony to take place within one week to allow for any changes that may have arisen during the review.


Step Four: Week 4 or Week 5 – The Signing Ceremony


At this meeting – lasting approximately 1-2 hours – you will come in to sign your estate planning documents. It will be necessary for you to bring a valid, current photo identification card such as a driver’s license, state I.D. card, military ID. card, or passport as proof of your identity. You will then sign the documents, having them witnessed or notarized as necessary. 


We will then scan your signed documents into our client management system and provide you with your original documents in a sturdy, attractive binder.


After the Signing Ceremony 


As a courtesy, we provide Lifetime Peace of Mind Meetings. Any time you experience a major life event or feel the need to talk to an Attorney about a major and unexpected issue, you can call us and schedule a Peace of Mind meeting at no charge. For life.

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