When individuals come into The Rains Law Firm to create either an estate plan or business plan, we follow a consistent process that oversees everything that we do while remaining individualized and specific to the client’s needs.
In preparation for the first meeting, I ask you fill out a simple form that lists basic and important information. A physical version of this form is found here. This allows our first conversation to be individually focused on your unique situation. During the first meeting, I follow a three step process: 1) listen; 2) educate; 3) counsel.
First, I understand that I need to listen to you to understand your life situation, vision, and goals. Your estate plan is based on this information. Second, I teach you about estate planning options, such as incapacity planning (which includes Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and HIPAA Waivers) and wills and trusts. Third, we counsel together to help you choose the specific estate plan that you believe best fits your life situation. For business clients, we talk about the different corporate structures and which makes the most sense for your business.
About two to four after our initial meeting, we have a Design Meeting. After the initial meeting, I provide you with a document summarizing the option that you chose, and I ask that you begin to think about the people that you want to have a role in your estate plan. I also ask that you begin to think about how you want your assets to be given to your loved ones.
During the Design Meeting, we comprehensively go over who you want to serve in their respective capacities and how you would want your assets to be distributed. For business clients, we discuss the governing documents you wish to have for the business and the specific provisions you wish to include.
Within the first few days after our Design Meeting, I draft your estate planning documents , as well as preparing the necessary documents to put your assets into the trust, if you choose that strategy.
During our third meeting, we will review your estate plan to verify that it meets your desires and expectations. After verifying this, you will sign your estate plan and the documents to put your assets into the trust. After this meeting, all that we need to do to finalize your estate plan is to send the documents to put your assets into your trust. For business plans, we review those decisions and sign the appropriate documents
After the signing meeting meeting, I contact you every six months to know if you have had any life developments that would require a change in your estate plan and to deepen our relationship.