Our Estate Planning Process
Table of Contents
Getting in touch with us to start the Estate Planning Process
- Calling our main number at 609-818-1555 is the best way to schedule a consultation.
Our Client Liaison Coordinators will be your first point of contact
- Choosing which estate planning attorney to meet with.
Our Client Liaison Coordinators will ask you about your family and financial situation in order to connect you with the estate planning attorney who will best be able to meet your needs.
- Pricing questions.
The Pollock Firm LLC takes pride in customizing each estate planning package to fit your unique family and financial situation. Since some clients wish to have a simple plan, we offer fixed fee rates for many typical plans. For clients who wish to have a highly custom estate plan, this work is done at an hourly rate. As a result, our Client Liaison Coordinators are not able to provide the exact cost prior to your consultation, although they can answer basic pricing questions.
- Scheduling a consultation.
Your Client Liaison Coordinator will request your contact information, schedule a time for you to speak with an attorney by phone or by video conference, and give you a brief overview of our process (as outlined below).
Prior to your initial consultation
- We will send an intake packet for you to complete so that we can have a concise overview of your family and financial situation. We ask that you fill the packet out to the best of your ability and send it back to us to make your consultation as efficient and productive as possible. Please return it us using our client portal, (which is more secure than traditional email) if you are able to do so
- If you are meeting with the attorney via video conference, we will send you an email with access information.
- On the business day prior to your consultation, we will confirm the appointment.
Initial consultation (what to expect)
- The attorney will either call you or start the video-call for you to join
- Once you and the attorney have gotten to know each other a bit, the attorney will: go through your intake sheet, discuss your estate planning goals, and outline some options for achieving your goals.
- The initial consultation can be up to two hours long, especially if you have a complex family dynamic, business interests, or require sophisticated trust and estate planning.
- At the end of this discussion, the attorney will give you an estimate on how much he or she believes drafting your selected plan will cost and establish a retainer amount.
- If you and the attorney discuss two different planning options (such as a Will package vs. a Trust package), the attorney will clarify the differences between the plans and the difference in pricing.
Hiring The Pollock Firm LLC to draft your estate planning documents
- We will send you a retainer agreement following your conference.The agreement will outline the scope of the work, the costs involved, and our policies regarding rush rates, drafts, etc.
- Please review and return the signed retainer to us along with the quoted retainer fee.Payment may be by check or credit card (We will send a link to LawPay for you to pay the retainer fee online via credit card).
- If your plan is complex… Your attorney may send you an email following your consultation that summarizes your plan. Please read this carefully and advise us of any changes you may like to make (or questions you may have). Additional meetings with your attorney may be required to finalize your plan.
- If additional information is needed… You might receive an email requesting additional information we will need in order to draft your documents (such as the legal names and addresses of your agents, or a copy of the deed to your home, etc.).
- Additional scheduling. Once we have received the signed retainer, payment of the retainer fee, and any additional information needed, our Client Liaison Coordinator will reach out to schedule a date for you to review your documents with us by phone or videoconference.
Preparing and Reviewing your documents
- Prior to your review call. We will post PDFs of the drafts of your estate planning documents to our secure online Client Portal (which is more secure than email).
- Once your drafts are uploaded to the Portal. You will receive an auto-generated email from The Pollock Firm LLC letting you know that they have been uploaded. Our estate planning paralegal will send you an email advising you of the same and provide you with further instructions.
- During your review call. Your attorney will lead you through your documents and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to make changes to any of the documents, your attorney will have our team implement them following your call. If changes are needed, we will upload the revised versions of the documents to the portal for your review.
- After the review call. Our Client Liaison Coordinator will reach out to schedule a time for you to come to our office and physically execute your documents. (We can also mail documents to you if you wish to execute them on your own.)
Executing your documents
- Your safety and health is of the utmost importance. We are currently conducting estate planning signings inside. All participants are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing to the extent possible. You will be offered a sanitized pen for signing or may bring your own. We are doing everything we can to minimize unnecessary handling of the documents, but many documents do need to be signed in the presence of a notary and two witnesses (provided by our firm) to be legally valid.
- You have a choice of either taking your original documents home with you or storing them at our firm. If you wish to store your original documents at our office, we will send you home with duplicate originals of your powers of attorney. We will then provide you with access to digital versions of all of your documents as well as hard copies. (Original deeds will be forwarded to you after they are filed with and returned to us by the county clerk.)
- A final bill will typically be emailed to you after your signing meeting. Payment will typically complete the estate planning process with the Pollock Firm LLC. However, if you have created a trust or other documents that are more complex in nature, we may have ongoing conversations with you and/or your financial advisor to ensure your plan is properly set up and maintained.