YOUR GOALS - Danley Law Firm
Understanding Your Goals & Concerns --
A Key Ingredient to Designing Your Estate Plan
We want to understand our clients’ goals and concerns. If you become our client, as part of our estate planning process, we will take the time to learn and discuss your goals and concerns. This is a key ingredient to designing an estate plan that works for you.
We consider the estate planning process to be much like the process of building a house. The house-building process consists primarily of designing the house and constructing the house, with many detailed decisions and steps throughout.
In similar fashion, the estate planning process involves designing the plan, constructing the plan by drafting the documents with the provisions that you want and need, and implementing the plan by signing the documents and carrying out any follow-up actions. Your estate plan is then ready to help you during your lifetime and help your beneficiaries at your death, much like a completed house is ready to live in.
An essential part of the house-building process is to have trustworthy, skilled, and diligent professionals and workers, such as the designer, builder, and trade professionals, who are equipped with the necessary “tools of the trade.” The same thing goes for your estate planning. You should have a trustworthy, skilled, and diligent estate planning attorney who is equipped with the necessary education, experience, and tools.
Relying on someone who doesn’t do a lot of estate planning or using forms purchased from an office supply store may, at the least, result in not getting your wishes carried out or your options fully explored. At the worst, such reliance may create more problems and costs than you ever imagined or could have known about, both to you and your beneficiaries. Similar to using qualified and experienced designers and workers to build a home, you owe it to yourself to use a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney to design, prepare, and implement your estate plan.
As we’ve said throughout the years, "You can’t take it with you, but you sure can leave a MESS!”
Again, designing your plan is the important first step of your estate planning, and part of designing your estate plan is understanding your goals and concerns.
What are YOUR goals and concerns?
Perhaps the following sample goals and concerns will help you arrive at a list of your own goals and concerns. As you read through these samples, please think about what your goals and concerns may be. This will help you be ready to assist in designing your estate plan.
• Do you desire to get your affairs in order and create a comprehensive plan to manage your affairs in case of death or disability?
• Do you want to provide for and protect a spouse?
• Do you want to provide for and protect children, or grandchildren?
• Do you want to disinherit someone?
• Do you want to provide for any charities at the time of your death or during your life?
• Are you concerned about the transfer and survival of a family business?
• Do you want to avoid or reduce your estate taxes?
• Do you want to avoid probate?
• Do you want to reduce administration costs at the time of your death?
• Do you want to avoid a guardianship (“living probate”) in case of your incapacity or disability?
• Do you want to avoid will contests or other disputes upon your death?
• Do you desire to protect your assets from lawsuits or creditors?
• Are you concerned about preserving the privacy of your affairs in case of disability or at time of death from business competitors, dishonest persons, and curiosity seekers?
• Do you need to plan for a child with disabilities or special needs, such as medical or learning disabilities?
• Would you like to protect your children’s inheritance from the possibility of failed marriages?
• Would you like to protect your children’s inheritance in the event of a surviving spouse’s remarriage?
• Would you like to make sure that someone you know and trust will have the legal authority to take care of your financial affairs if you ever become unable to?
• Would you like to make sure that someone you know and trust will have the legal authority to make your health care, up to and including end-of-life decisions, for you if you ever become unable to?
• Do you have any other goals or concerns? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
From our perspective, the bottom line is this: By understanding clients’ goals and concerns, Forrest Danley, Attorney and the Danley Law Firm of Edmond, are able to help our clients design, prepare, and implement an estate plan that meets our clients' needs, desires, and goals while providing them with peace of mind about their concerns.
If you decide to become our client, we will work diligently to do the same for you and will consider it a privilege to do so.