We know, beginning your estate plan is a big step. So our process is designed to ensure your confidence in the planning process each step of the way. Every decision is carefully reviewed with you and yet the entire process doesn’t stretch out beyond 8 weeks, so you know that within a single month after meeting with your WR Nichols Law Personal Family Lawyer, your family could be totally protected.
It’s the perfect combination of efficiency and warmth.
The planning process itself begins with an initial meeting that is an opportunity for you to meet with Wally Nichols, so that you each can determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm.
During this initial meeting, Wally will walk you through exactly what your loved ones would have to do and where your assets would go if something happened to you.
You will then be able to determine if there was anything about your current plan (or the state’s plan for you) that you wouldn’t like and you’ll get clear on what you would want to happen if something happened to you.
Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, Wally will help you to choose the planning level and fee that is right for your family (we have three different planning levels to accommodate your needs – our fees begin at $2,000 and they are all-inclusive, so there are no surprises) and you and Wally will then design a plan that will give you the peace of mind of knowing your family will be taken care of in the event the unthinkable happens.
Sometimes, depending on the level of planning you choose and the complexity of your situation, a second design meeting is needed or a Whole Family Wealth Audit meeting is offered to review your more complex financial matters.
Once your plan has been designed to your satisfaction, you will return to our office about 4-6 weeks later to sign your planning documents. At this point, your family and your assets will be totally protected in the case of your death or incapacity.
In most law firms, the relationship ends there.
But we see the signing of these documents as the beginning of our relationship with your family. This is where our law firm is very different.
After you sign your legal documents, we don’t just send you on your way and wish you luck for the future. Instead, we create an electronic record of all of your legal documents so you can easily access them anytime you need to in the future and then schedule a legacy meeting with you. This is one of the most important meetings of our process because it’s where we:
1) ensure your assets are all owned in the right way (you can have the best set of legal documents, but if your assets are not owned in the right way, it’s all been a waste);
2) make sure everyone you’ve named to take care of your kids, the money you are leaving behind or you if you cannot care of yourself knows just what to do, if and when something happens;
3) capture and plan for your intangible assets – the values, insights, stories, and experiences – you would never want lost.
And this is where we make sure you understand everything we’ve put in place for you and your family.
Then, we still aren’t done! We meet with you at least every three years to review your plan and make sure it stays up to date. If that’s not included in the planning you are doing, the set of documents you get are very unlikely to work when your family needs them.