Guiding You To The Best Estate Planning Decisions
At Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, we help clients throughout western Pennsylvania make the best estate planning decisions for their unique circumstances. Our attorneys understand how critical these decisions can be and how difficult it can be to make them. We provide you with the knowledgeable and compassionate guidance you need through each step of the process.
Our Estate Planning Process
After attending one of our free estate planning workshops, you will have the opportunity to schedule a no-cost appointment to meet one-on-one with one of our lawyers at what we call a vision meeting. Here we will discuss your own personal family circumstances, concerns and needs. We always encourage prospective clients to bring to that meeting any current estate planning documents they have so we can determine together whether they accomplish the family’s goals and address their concerns. This first meeting typically lasts an hour or so, and by the end of that meeting, you will have a good idea of what some options might be for you and your family as well as the associated costs.
For those who move forward with planning, the next meeting in our process is known as the design meeting. This is where we go deeper in designing a plan that will account for not only your life now and in the future, but it will also account for the lives of your children and grandchildren after you’re gone. Many of our clients like the idea of protecting the inheritance they are leaving to the next generation, and during this meeting, we will put together a customized and personal estate plan. The majority of our services are provided at a flat rate with no hidden surprises.
Within a few weeks of the design meeting, we will meet yet again for the signing meeting where we review in detail all of the various documents that comprise your family’s estate plan, including the medical and financial powers of attorney, wills and/or trusts, advanced health care directives and other essential documents. The planning documents will all be signed, witnessed and notarized, and it’s typically at this meeting where we often see clients’ shoulders drop a little bit and they express relief because they realize that the weight they have been carrying for quite a while has finally been lifted. Not only can the family ‘check that box’ on their to-do list, but they can also rest assured that they are prepared for whatever curveballs life may throw at them.
For clients who create a trust-based plan, the final meeting might be a funding meeting, where various financial documents – such as change of ownership or beneficiary forms – might require review and signatures. The task of funding a trust is often the most time-consuming, and we assist our clients through that process so we know that their plan is going to work for them.
Following the funding meeting, Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning wants to make sure the plan you designed continues to work as your family changes in the future. Within a year of the signing meeting, we give our trust-based clients a free maintenance review to make sure the trust and documents are working well with the family’s goals. We ask a number of questions such as if you are happy with the service and were the assets you wanted retitled and/or transferred into the trust. If you want to make any changes, there is no cost to make changes within that one-year period.
After the free year of maintenance is over, our families have the option of joining our maintenance club, the Heritage Club, for a flat fee paid each year. Members of the Heritage Club enjoy benefits such as a yearly maintenance review, word processing changes made to existing documents, workshops covering various estate planning topics and a special members-only outing, all compliments of Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning.
Contact Us To Learn More About Your Options
Because there are so many estate planning choices to be made, the process can be complex. Our attorneys can take the confusion out of the planning by explaining your best options to you. We commit to educate you and answer any questions that arise along the way. If you are ready to make decisions about your estate or have questions, contact our office at 724-897-7781 or complete our online form to schedule your initial consultation.