Peace of Mind Estate Planning Process™
If you have a medical problem, no physician will prescribe a treatment without doing a diagnosis. In the same sense, before you can know what you really need legally, your attorney has to do a legal diagnosis by asking you detailed and specific questions about your family, health and money. These should not be perfunctory questions… in our office, this diagnosis generally takes around an hour.
If you think about it, everyone has a different pattern of family, health and money and that means that each of you will need different things to solve your specific problems and plan for your individual future. I call this your legal roadmap. There is no “one size fits all”… blindly doing documents without first doing a diagnosis of your specific situation will simply not work. This is very important.
At Cooper, Adel, Vu, we believe that laying out a roadmap for you is essential. Your roadmap will be unique to your situation. How do you get the Roadmap? Let’s take a minute to review the process. Let’s use you as an example… if you were our client, this is what we would do:
- Step 1 – We make a diagnosis by asking you detailed questions about your family, health and money.
- Step 2 – We work with you to make sure you understand your legal options and craft a unique roadmap that matches your expressed needs. These options will likely include fundamental documents, trusts and other strategies.
- Step 3 – At this point, we have a good idea of what legal work will be required to complete your roadmap. We will generally quote a flat fee for your work which includes followup, questions and changes (our “Review and Improve” Service™) so you will know in advance what your costs will be. There will be no hidden charges. This brings us to a decision point about whether it makes sense for both us to work together.
- Step 4 – If you wish to proceed, we will schedule additional meetings as required to collect the specific information we need to complete the work associated with your Peace of Mind Estate Planning Roadmap. At the end of this step, you will have unique roadmap designed to work for your specific situation that will work for you when you need it.
- Step 5 – Over the years, we will revisit your Roadmap. We call this our “Review and Improve Service”, which covers the follow-up changes and questions your have down the road to make sure your roadmap still works. Our ultimate goal is for our clients to leave knowing that they are ready for any legal curves that come along life’s journey and that our firm will be there to support them.
In the end, we measure our success by your peace of mind. We actually find that when our clients engage in this Peace of Mind Estate Planning Process, many report a transformation… from sleepless nights of uncertainty to comfort and security, knowing where they are going, which is particularly relevant in our troubled times.
Author: Thom L. Cooper, Certified* Elder Law Attorney
*Certified by the National Elder Law Foundation and the Ohio State Bar Association as specialists in the field of Elder Law.