If you’ve gotten to this point, you should really pat yourself on the back.
You’ve taken the initiative to make responsible decisions for yourself and for your family. You might even wonder why it took you so long!
This article is about how to prepare for your appointment and what happens when you meet with one of our attorneys.
Once you pick a date to come in and meet, please make sure you commit to your scheduled appointment. Your time is valuable and so is ours. Please let us know if you need to reschedule at least 7 days ahead of your appointment. If something comes up within that time frame, however, just call us and let’s figure it out! We understand emergencies – especially those of the family and kid variety!
We spend a lot of time preparing for your appointment, and we ask that you do as well. We will send you everything you need to get ready. And, we are always available to answer questions – just ask!
Shortly after you set your appointment with us, you will receive a packet in the mail with a map and directions, information about us and our firm philosophy, detailed pricing information, and an agenda for your consultation so that you know exactly what to expect. The packet will also contain a Family Profile for you to fill out and return to us at least three days ahead of your session. The Family Profile will ask you to tell us about your family, your finances, your values and goals. These are the crucial elements in designing an estate plan for your family. We ask that you fill it out in as much detail as possible – but just do the best you can. If you come across any questions that you are either uncomfortable answering right now, or that you don’t know the answer to quite yet – feel free to mark them to discuss at your appointment. We’ll help you!
You will also receive the Profile electronically. Feel free to type in your answers and email them back to us if that is easier for you. Note: Please save the form to your computer before starting to fill it out. (This may be a no-brainer….but important nonetheless!).
When we receive your completed Profile, we will begin calculating and crunching numbers for you. If you are like most of our first-timers, this will be an eye-opening exercise. (You’ll have to come in to see this for yourself!). Also, we will note red flags and areas of concern. And, we will be sure to customize your consultation based on your specific values and wishes.
When you come in, we will introduce ourselves and then spend the rest of the meeting talking about you! We will talk about what would happen right now if something happened to you such as where your children would be placed based on Colorado statute, what conservatorship and guardianship mean, how much probate would cost you, how to protect your assets from creditors and predators, and what estate planning is in general.
Next, we will make a recommendation for you based on everything we discuss in the meeting. Our hope is that you will come into your meeting with the goal of designing your plan and making a financial commitment to go forward. However, you are completely in control and you can decide what or if you want to make a plan at all. In most cases, when families go home to think about it (again). They end up putting everything on the backburner (again). If you’re planning on going skydiving, would you take the plane up just to get a look, then come back down and do it another day? No. Probably not. So, we send out as much information ahead of time so that you can come into your appointment ready to go. At least, that is our hope.
At your consultation, if you are ready to start, we will design your plan at that time. We will go over your choices for each role in detail and discuss any concerns you may have. If you have filled out your Profile in detail, this section can be done relatively quickly. Then, we will ask you questions you may have never thought about until now. You get to talk to the attorney about each one and decide the best route for your family. This is a huge relief, knowing that you now have an emergency plan!
After the consultation, we will pick out a date for your Signing Ceremony. This is the day that your documents become legally enforceable. It’s an exciting day! Stay tuned for the next article in this series on what the Signing Ceremony is all about.
Thanks for reading!