How to Get Started
We know, beginning your estate plan is a big step. So our process is designed to ensure your confidence in the planning process each step of the way. Over the course of approximately eight weeks, you will meet with Karin Foster, our owner and founder, for about 5.5 hours to complete and deliver the estate planning paperwork. Additional time will be needed for the completion of the Safe Minors Estate Planning documents and Young Adult Wellness Estate Plan. Of course, if more time is needed, then we will gladly accommodate your needs - this will all be based on one flat fee, completely negotiated upfront.
Step One: Schedule your Free 30 minute Consult
Call our office at 505-835-6580 to schedule your free 30 minute consult. At this meeting we will discuss your current affairs and what would happen if you did nothing (hint: the government has a plan that you may not like). This meeting is a generalized education session and not specific to your personal situation. If you want a review of your assets, your heirs and the plans available to you, you should schedule the 1.5 hour the Estate Plan Design session where, after you retain our firm, actual legal review of your personal situation will occur.
Step Two: Schedule your Estate Plan Design session
You may already know that you want to do your estate planning because you know you need to protect those you love. The 1.5 hour Estate Planning Design session will give you a comprehensive review of your assets, your heirs, your financial situation and which estate plan would be best for you and your family. This meeting entails significant legal review and analysis thus a fee of $520** is charged for this session. But if you decide to hire the Foster Legal Advisory Group to create a comprehensive plan for you, this planning fee is applied to the overall fee for your plan.
Important: Step 2.5 - Complete your paperwork
About 3 days after scheduling your EPD appointment, you will receive a Client Legacy Assessment that you will need to complete for your personal Estate Planning Design session. We have found that clients who take the time to fill out the Legacy Assessment form end up with a better understanding of the process because they have taken the time to digest the various issues we will discuss at the meeting.
Step Three: Your Estate Plan Design meeting
The EPD meeting is also an opportunity for you to meet with Karin Foster, so that you each can determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm. Ms. Foster will walk you through exactly what your loved ones would have to do if something happened to you. We will discuss very personal issues such as the competency of your children, the stability of your marriage should a remarriage situation occur and your health issues. Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, we will help you to choose the planning level and fee that is right for your family. Then we will discuss the very specific details of your situation to design a unique plan that will give you the peace of mind of knowing your family will be taken care of in the event the unthinkable happens.
Step Four: The Signing Ceremony
Once your plan has been designed to your satisfaction, you will return to our office about 3 weeks later to sign your planning documents. This meeting is generally about 1.5 hours as we will discuss and review every provision of your documents to make sure you understand how your assets, wealth and legacy are transferred in the way you want them to be transferred. After signing these documents, your family and your assets will be protected in the case of your death or incapacity.
Step Five: The Asset Review / Legacy meeting
This is one of the most important meetings of our process because this meeting is when we:
ensure your assets are all owned in the right way which includes finalizing deed paperwork;
Assist you to transfer assets to your trust (you can have the best set of legal documents, but if your assets are not owned in the right way, it’s all been a waste;
make sure everyone you’ve named to take care of your kids is aware of their responsibilities should they get the call,
make sure your young adults are scheduled to come in to draft and sign their very important Young Adult Wellness Plan documents.
Step Six: Followup Annual Teleconference
You will be contacted annually by our office to ask if there have been major life changes to you or your family over the past year. If your legal documents need minor updates, such as adding or changing names, this is included in your plan. Any significant updates, such as adding a trust will be negotiated upfront.
Step Seven: Followup meeting every 3 years to review plans (at no extra charge)
Because your life changes, the law changes and your family changes, your documents will need to be reviewed and possibly updated every three years. Updates due to changes in the law, beneficiary designations or nominations are all included in your plan. If there is a substantive addition to your plan, such as adding a new trust, this will be negotiated upfront.