Monthly Archives: August 2018

What to Expect from Your Lawyer

One of the major concerns or stumbling blocks for individuals to begin the estate planning process is not knowing what expect. What types of documents or planning would be helpful to me or my family (what do I need)? How much will it cost? What do I need to know before meeting? How long will the whole process take? How will I know if I am getting objective counsel? These are important questions that need to be answered.

At Schleiffarth Law Firm, we squarely address each of these matters in our initial meeting (which is always free of charge). Our goal is to provide objective, helpful information that will help each individual or client understand what estate planning options are available and what they could be used to accomplish. Our focus is always on information and guidance—not selling a product or service. We typically spend about 45 minutes discussing your family, goals, questions and ideas. We talk through basic estate planning documents (“tools”) and what the benefits could be. We are careful to give candid recommendations but also provide various options for consideration. Our fees are always flat fees (not hourly or adjustable) and we are very upfront and transparent about what cost will be involved.

You should be able to trust your lawyer and also trust that they will take the time and make the effort to understand your goals. We take these matter seriously and are eager to help.

Blended Family Estate Planning

Estate planning for “blended” families is particularly important and can present unique considerations. Often, spouses who marry each other later in life or after having their own children, bring with them unique assets and expectations. Goals and plans for what happens with their money and their property and how children are cared for and/or treated can vary widely between spouses. To implement a plan (or plans) that match the desires and expectations of each spouse, particular care and expertise are required. In many instances, separate trusts can be utilized to keep certain assets segregated and to be sure that the right property gets to the right heirs/beneficiaries. Furthermore, documents like power of attorney must be carefully considered and prepared to ensure the types of protections (and outcomes) that are important to each spouse.