What Is Estate Planning and Why Does It Matter?

Estate planning is the process of preparing a legal plan for your incapacity and death, and it is crucial for anyone who wants to care for themselves, their loved ones, and their assets at the end of their life. If you’ve never created an estate plan, you may not know much about how the process works. As a law firm that specializes in estate and elder planning, here is a peek into our process for helping our clients create their estate plans. 

Our Four-Step Estate Planning Process:

We’ve designed the four steps of our estate planning process to be as thorough as possible while still providing you with a clear and efficient service. You have the final word every step of the way, and we won’t stop until we’ve provided you with the peace of mind you need to face the future. Here are each of our four steps, with an explanation of how they work: 

Step 1: We Listen and Explain.

We start by getting to know you. We spend time asking you questions about your relationships, your assets, and your goals, so that we can get a holistic view of your situation. This helps us make the best recommendation about which legal tools will work for you as you create your estate plan. We also give you plenty of time to ask us questions about our philosophy and what the process of planning your estate looks like. 

Step 2: We Develop a Plan to Accomplish Your Goals. 

After we spend some time with you and have the details we need, we present you with a proposed plan that addresses your specific goals. We list each of the legal and non-legal tools we think will help you and explain how they function. We then tweak the plan as needed until you are comfortable with it.

Step 3: We Craft Your Relational Estate Plan.

In Step 3, we review your information and draft the first version of your legal documents. We also send you information on how to start putting together the other non-legal tools in your plan. We may reach out to you for clarification or additional information, but for the most part you won’t hear from us during this step. Of course, if you have any additional questions or concerns during this time, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 After we complete the first draft of your legal documents, we send them to you, along with a letter explaining them. We ask that you read the letter first and then the documents. After you’ve read everything, feel free to call or email us with any questions, comments, or changes you have. We revise the drafts as many times as needed until you are certain they will accomplish your goals.

Step 4: We Implement Your Relational Estate Plan.

After you’ve approved the legal documents we have drafted for your estate plan, we schedule a time for you to come in to our office to sign these documents. Because each estate document has different requirements, we prefer you sign them in our office so we can ensure all the state requirements are met. Once the documents are signed, we make copies of the originals for our files, then give the original documents to you in an organized binder. We also give you instructions on how to finish implementing the non-legal parts of your plan and discuss any questions you have.

Relational Estate and Elder Law and Your Estate Plan

Here at Relational Estate and Elder Law, our priority is to help you create an estate plan that will accomplish your goals and take care of you and your loved ones. If you are a Virginia or West Virginia resident who is ready to create their estate plan, contact us today.

Joshua E. Hummer, Esq. has been a practicing attorney for over 15 years. While experienced in many parts of the law, Josh specializes in estate planning, estate administration, and elder law. He is licensed in both Virginia and West Virginia. Josh’s passion lies in helping people gain peace of mind about the future through holistic legal planning. When he isn’t meeting with clients or crafting legal documents, Josh enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, Jill, and their four vibrant children.