Estate Planning Should Be a Collaborative Process
At Smith Barid, LLC, we believe that a collaborative approach brings the best results for our clients. We work closely with our clients, their financial advisors and their accountants to create plans that will address the client's unique and specific estate planning needs both now and in the future. Since the legal landscape is constantly changing, we build each estate plan with as much flexibility as we can. In this way, we ensure that the plan will address our client's needs now and can adapt to changing circumstances. We also want to serve clients who want a lasting relationship with their legal advisors. We meet with clients regularly to review their plans and make sure that the plan we created years ago adequately meets their current needs.
The Initial Estate Planning Consultation
Our relationship with our clients begins before they ever set foot in our office. After an initial consultation is scheduled with a potential client, we send out an Estate Planning Worksheet which helps us to gather information relevant to the Estate Planning consultation. We will also provide you with a proposed agenda for that first meeting.
Before the consultation, the attorneys review the information on the Estate Planning Worksheet to ensure that they are prepared in advance for that Initial Consultation and to make sure that we are a good fit for the potential client. At the Initial Consultation, the attorney will consult with you to determine what your needs are and what the best approach is to addressing your particular issues. The meeting generally takes about one to one and one half hours. After outlining for you what our general recommendations are, we will discuss with you a range for our fees. Then begins the design phase of our Initial Consultation.
Designing Your Estate Plan
During the design phase, the attorney will diagram for you a detailed and specific Estate Plan. Upon completion of the design phase, you will be presented with a custom solution for your estate planning needs that will address all of the issues particular to your situation. When the design is complete, the attorney will quote a firm fee for the execution of the plan. We will then sign a fee agreement, collect the initial payment and begin the work of creating your custom designed Estate Plan. The process of creation generally takes approximately 30 - 45 days. Upon completion, you will come in for a Signing Meeting. At the Signing Meeting (which generally takes about two hours), we will review your estate plan with you in detail to be sure that it is exactly what you want and that you understand all of the relevant parts of your estate plan.
Maintaining Your Estate Plan
As your life changes, it's important that your estate plan changes to reflect your desires and needs. Every client at Smith Barid is encouraged to give us a call when they go through major life events. We also check in with every client every three years to ask them if their plan is still up to date and invite them to come into the office for a free consultation to discuss any changes needed. We also offer an annual Client Care Program for clients who want to have additional access to the attorneys and staff at Smith Barid and want to make sure that their plan is always current.