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In this week's Newsletter:
  • Introducing a New Maintenance Program for the New Year!

Introducing a New Maintenance Program for the New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! It's been a few weeks since I sent one of these out, but the time around Christmas and New Year's is the slowest period of the year at work, which makes it a great time to work on the business side of things, such as internal processes and how we deliver services for clients. Another thing I always like to work on during the Christmas holiday period is continuing education. Business planning and raising the knowledge level are two things that can get overlooked when things get busy during the year, and I find the last couple weeks of December to be a good time to sharpen the saw in preparation for the next year. Last year, I worked hard to crystalize an estate planning process that would ensure clients had estate plans that would actually work when they needed it. It turns out that the "Family Wealth Planning" process that we implemented was a great complement to our practice as a whole. Plus, it feels really good to take a weight off of so many people's shoulders. We love happy clients, and our most rewarding moments last year were seeing the relief and joy of clients who implemented trust plans which do more to help their loved ones than just designate beneficiaries for their stuff. These past few weeks, Rizza and I have worked to improve our processes even more to support clients after they've created their plans. The product of that planning is a Personal Family Lawyer Maintenance Plan that is being initiated this month.  I try not to be too self-promotional in these newsletters, but this maintenance plan is something new, and I want people to at least know it exists. Read more below!

Our Personal Family Lawyer Maintenance Plan

Like it or not, your legal affairs are sort of like your physical health. You don't go to a doctor one time and reasonably expect that you'll never need to worry about your health again. To limit the chance of a health disaster, you try to exercise, eat right, and go to medical and dental checkups at regular intervals. Your legal planning ought to be similar. It might seem like everything is in order if you don't think about it, but failure to react appropriately to changes often leads to mayhem. Sometimes people don't even realize when an important change has occurred. Unfortunately very few people get legal "checkups." One reason for this is that no one likes to get billed by the hour (how lawyers traditionally charge clients) for quick questions or minor updates. Rizza and I understand that, and it's why we wanted to come up with a maintenance program for our trust-planning clients so that they would have regular access to advice and guidance on their personal legal affairs every year for a predictable flat fee. Under this plan, maintenance plan members will be able to talk to us on a regular basis without worrying about being billed for each phone call, and they'll automatically be scheduled for an annual meeting to review their estate plan, update their asset inventory, and discuss related issues. Beyond this, we would maintain a secure, shared online portal for storage of all of the client's documents as well as physically storing members' wills to avoid the common situation of a lost will complicating an estate. In addition to the services that are 100% covered by the flat fee, members would receive defined discounts for other services related to estate planning, real estate, and estate administration. I'm not laying out all of the details here, but in the next week, we are mailing out plan details to all of our past trust plan clients. They don't have to join, but many have expressed an interest in this type of regular service, and we wanted to deliver. The reason that I mention it in this newsletter is to make people aware that we don't leave people in the cold after we’ve delivered the initial service. Of course, you don't have to be a member to receive service from us, but membership will be a good fit for people who see value in having economical access to a personal family lawyer on a regular basis. If you schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session with us this year, we will discuss the maintenance plan as an optional add-on to a foundational plan.

What's Coming Up?

  1. Our New, Enhanced Elder Law Service. I might have mentioned before that I am often asked about how to protect assets from nursing home expenses and Medicaid recovery, but many of the techniques that maximize asset protection require a more complex understanding of Medicaid law than what 99% of lawyers have. To improve my position to serve clients in this area, I joined Elder Counsel last year and deeply immersed myself in continuing legal education and processes on this specific topic for use starting in 2023. Next week, I'll discuss this a little more.
  2. Keeping Your Original Will Safe and Findable. Did you know that you almost always need an "original" will for probate? When wills are lost, the result is usually the same as if the decedent did not make a will at all. We decided to offer a solution, and I'll tell you about it in two weeks.
DISCLAIMER: All of the content of this newsletter and any other newsletter is general in nature and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every individual’s situation is different, and assuming a one-size-fits-all solution is unwise. Legal, financial, or tax advice should only be relied upon when provided confidentially pursuant to an engagement agreement after your professional has agreed in writing to review your specific circumstances and give advice based on those circumstances. Hopefully this newsletter alerts you to issues that may affect you or people you know, leading you to know when to meet with a qualified advisor and get personal advice and service.
And Go Dawgs!
Until next time,
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