We start out with a complementary consultation by phone or video-conference to begin the planning process. This discussion usually centers around your family and the other important people in your life. We will identify your beneficiaries and the people you trust to take care of you and carry out your instructions.
At the end of the consultation, we will set up a signing day conference to complete the signing of the documents. Between the consultation and signing day, I will prepare the appropriate documents in accordance with our discussions during the consultation.
At your convenience, I will email or mail the documents to you in advance of signing day. Before signing, I will review everything with you to make sure you understand the documents and they fit with your plan.
For the signing day meeting I will setup a video-conference. The governor recently entered an order authorizing documents to be witnessed and notarized under the supervision of an attorney by video. If you have a webcam setup, that’s great, but all you need is a smart phone or tablet. If you need some help setting it up, we’re here to help. In some situations, we may be able to sign with only a phone call.
After signing, you simply mail the documents to us to complete the process.
During our initial, we will discuss your needs and I’ll make recommendations based on our discussion. Although estate planning is not one size fits all, I typically recommend the following documents:
Last Will and Testament: This is the most important document for planning the transfer of property after death. Clients with minor children can also use a will to appoint a guardian to care for their children if both parents are deceased and to transfer the client’s property to a trust held for the benefit of the minor children to cover education, healthcare and other needs until the children reach adulthood. When someone dies without a will, the person appointed by the court to administer the estate is typically required to purchase a bond, file an inventory, and request permission from the court for many routine transactions. A properly drafted will can relieve the executor from these requirements. This is especially important for dependent heirs going through a difficult grieving process, who need quick access to the assets of the estate to continue to support themselves.
Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows the client to appoint someone to take care of the client’s affairs, in the future, if circumstances arise where the client is mentally or physically incapable of taking care of their financial needs on their own. It’s typically used to pay to day-to-day living expenses or arrange for medical care. The client’s need for assistance can arise from cognitive or physical decline with age or from an injury which affects the client’s cognitive or physical functioning. Without a durable power of attorney in place, the family member or other person looking to manage the financial affairs of an incapacitated person may have to petition the probate court for conservatorship.
Healthcare Power of Attorney: The healthcare power of attorney grants authority to another person to make decisions concerning healthcare where the client is physically or mentally incapable of making the decision for himself or herself. It addresses organ donation and also includes a HIPAA release to allow access to medical information helpful for decision-making.
If you live in Alabama and you need a Will prepared, now is the time. You can complete the entire process without leaving home. Contact us to schedule a free consultation by filling out the Consult Request form below or call (251) 215-9275.