Estate Planning and Our Process
The Law Office of Anita L. Barber, P.A. utilizes a holistic approach to understanding our clients, their needs and desires. We want to learn about you and your family. Frequently, the most common issues facing our clients include:
- Ensuring loved ones receive assets according to your wishes,
- Protecting assets from personal and business creditors,
- Reducing or eliminating estate taxes,
- Ensuring the successful continuation or sale of a business enterprise,
- Avoiding the expense and delay of probate,
- Providing for children of previous marriages and the distribution of funds to children in an appropriate manner,
- Arranging for prudent management of your assets to benefit you and your family in case of disability, and
- Providing guidance to your physician and family in case of terminal illness or injury.
Regardless of the level of complexity of a client’s circumstances, we give careful consideration of the pertinent issues in the creation of your estate plan.
Accordingly, our comprehensive process begins with the delivery to you of our “Client Information Disclosure” for you to complete. This important and often eye opening document provides us with a clear understanding of your family, your assets and your initial estate planning desires. Upon completion of the Client Information Disclosure, you may call us to schedule an “Initial Client Conference.” During this conference, we will review your Client Information Disclosure, in detail, including the titling of your assets and the ownership of any businesses, real property and related finance structures. We glean an understanding of your desires concerning the disposition of your assets, your wealth preservation goals and any specific needs you or your family may require. Customarily, at the conclusion of this meeting I will quote you a flat fee for the design, drafting and implementation of your estate plan. Once you have engaged my firm, we will create your estate plan, custom-designed to meet your specific needs and goals that includes prudent tax planning. For more complex estates which include wealth preservation strategies and/or advanced tax planning, we will often schedule a second meeting, a comprehensive “Design Conference.” During this Design Conference, we will develop your customized, integrated estate and wealth preservation plan, which likely will involve the use of advanced estate and tax planning structures and, as necessary, strategically formed entities for wealth preservation planning.
Several weeks following the Initial Client/Design Conference, you will return to our office for your “Signing Ceremony.” At this time, we will review your estate plan documents with you in detail, explaining what each document does for you and how your documents interact with each other. If your documents meet with your approval, you may sign your estate plan documents. Once signed, we will provide you with your original estate plan documents and an “Estate Planning Portfolio”. This portfolio not only contains a copy of all of your estate plan documents which we prepared for you, but also vital, important information for you and your family’s use.
We will then assist you with a very important aspect of your estate planning, the “Funding Phase”, to ensure your estate plan works for you. The Funding Phase is the process of transferring assets to your Revocable Living Trust or advanced planning structures, as the case may be.
It is our goal to work closely with you and assist you in making prudent choices for you and your family during your entire estate planning process. Please feel free at any time to contact us at any time during this process; we welcome your calls.