Serving Families For a Lifetime and Beyond
Many people are completely unaware of a gaping hole in their financial plans until a catastrophe occurs, then they discover that a huge mistake was made. That’s when they discover the devastating consequences of not having proper estate documents.
For example, a young couple may have worked hard to obtain a degree of financial security, then they are taken in a car accident. If they don’t have a will, the decisions about who will have custody of their children and control of their wealth is left in the hands of the court.
If the retired person that has accumulated a lifetime of wealth dies without a complete estate plan their wealth may be diminished greatly by taxes and fees, or squandered by beneficiaries that will waste a lifetime of wealth in a year or two.
What can be worse may occur when an individual becomes incompetent without proper powers of attorney. In our state a competence hearing is scheduled when the person isn’t able to make rational decisions. If the court agrees that the person is incompetent, the next of kin is usually appointed as guardian. However, as guardian, the individual is required to petition the court before making changes for their incompetent loved one. The guardian is also required to file an annual report to the court detailing the money they spent on the incompetent loved one. Guardianship can be costly and time consuming. More importantly it can be humiliating for the guardian. Imagine being married to a person for over 50 years and having to petition the court before you can spend their own money on them? In the huge majority of cases with proper estate documents the problem can be eliminated.
In 2017 Legal Zoom reported that 55% of American don’t have a will. A much higher percentage don’t have proper Powers of Attorney. We believe not having an estate plan is risky. In our opinion there are several reasons so many intelligent individuals don’t have a plan.
Many people don’t know what they need or why. Another concern for some is that they don’t know an honest reputable attorney. A third concern is that they no idea what it should cost to do a good plan.
We try to address all of these concerns through our referral service. It works like this. An individual will call us for a free consultation. Prior to the meeting we email or mail the person a form detailing the information they may want to bring to the meeting. During the consultation we do not provide legal advice, but once we understand the simplicity or the complexity of the person legal needs we can provide a referral to an appropriate attorney. Many times we are able to provide an estimate of the cost of the legal services during the consultation