HOW OUR LAW FIRM IS DIFFERENT
Explaining to you how we are different requires an explanation of what the “traditional” experience with a lawyer is like. If you have worked with a lawyer to prepare estate planning documents for you in the past, this will sound familiar.
During the traditional experience, you will go in and meet with a lawyer who will often make things seem very complicated and confusing. You will have a good idea that the lawyer is smart and seems to know what she’s doing, so you will nod and answer questions, as if you understand everything. Because you want to do the right thing for your family, you will have the lawyer prepare documents for you and you will sign the documents, feeling relieved that you’ve got that taken care of.
You will take your fancy planning binder home, stick it on a shelf or in a drawer, mark estate planning off on your checklist as DONE and never think about it again.
You might remember your lawyer said something about moving your bank accounts into the trust. So you will go to the bank, forget what you were supposed to do, call your lawyer’s office, get a voicemail, have to leave the bank and wait for a call back, (which takes several hours at least and sometimes days) and by that time, you will have gotten busy with other things and never get around to moving that bank account.
A few weeks later, you will get a bill in the mail for $62.50 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions. You will make a mental note – do not call lawyer ever again.
Several years later, you will refinance your house or sell it and buy a new one and forget that you were supposed to let your lawyer know or make sure you kept the title in the name of the trust.
Your children will get older, making your guardianship choices outdated, but you do not want to call your lawyer because you know you will get a bill in the mail two weeks later.
You will hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure you would surely get a letter in the mail from your lawyer if it was something that affected you, so you do not worry about it. And, you would have to dig through boxes to find your trust documents so you could remember your lawyer’s name and find her contact information. Who has time for that?
It is not until you become incapacitated or die and your family finds the binder you stuck up on a shelf several years before and never looked at again, that they will realize your plan is so outdated that it has nothing to do with your life, your assets or the law.
Your family is at a loss. They do not know where to turn or what to do, so they contact the same lawyer you used to prepare the documents, who is as happy as can be to probate your assets, which never made it into the trust.
How do I know this?
Because a large part of my practice is probate administration. Because I have had too many clients whose loved one’s estate plan failed, costing families thousands of dollars, homes, family peace, not to mention the cost of legal fees. My probate administration experience makes me a better estate planning attorney, because I know exactly how every sentence in an estate planning document plays out in court. I have been there and done that, and believe me when I tell you, outside of some very specific circumstances, you do not want your family in probate court.
It seems that the estate planning industry was not designed to serve growing families who experience lots of change on their way to success. It was designed to serve the elderly who were preparing for the inevitable.
We Help You Prepare For Life
We are not here just to create a set of documents you will likely never update or look at again. We are here to ensure your loved ones have someone to turn to when you are no longer here. And, to support you in planning for not just legacy (what you leave behind when you are gone), but for life as well.
We have been told by many clients that the questions and real possibilities that were brought up during our estate planning consultation are the things that they have never thought of and never would have thought to prepare for. That is what we are here for! It is our job to know all the “what-ifs,” the law and the strategies to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones.
We understand you are BUSY, you desire a life of prosperity and you value ease, convenience and efficiency. You want to know you have made the best decisions for your family during your lifetime and that your family will be left with ease and aware of your love by how well you prepared.
You want to make sure your children will be properly prepared to receive your wealth, when it is time.
That is our focus too. Family Wealth is so much more than financial wealth. It really encompasses everything you care about even more than money, your values, insights, stories, experience — your intellectual, spiritual and human assets. As part of our planning process, we guide you to consider and plan for those most often lost assets.
We encourage communication with our clients. You never have to be afraid to call with a quick question (or even a not so quick question). Everything we do is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises.
I am here to serve you. When you call our office to ask your quick question, you will not have to wait hours or days for a phone call back. You will get your question answered and, if you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with me, a call will be scheduled when we are both available and ready for the call so we can make the very best use of your time and not waste your time by leaving voicemail after voicemail back and forth.
And, we ensure the most important details of your planning are followed through on and help you make sure your plan continues to work throughout your lifetime.
In addition, through my work, I have gotten to know many legal, financial and real estate experts over the years. They are available to you for guidance. One day you will need a lawyer. I do not know why and I do not know when, but when you do, you will be grateful you can call on us and we will be here to advise you, help you find the right counsel, or get you out of a jam.
And, as I mentioned, we believe your financial wealth is only about a quarter of your overall “Family Wealth” which is made up of your far more valuable, Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets – who you are and what is important to you.
Most lawyers only focus on transferring your financial wealth to the next generation. We focus on identifying and building your Family Wealth during your lifetime and leaving a legacy of love that goes far beyond money, after you are gone.
We have developed a tool that allows us to pass on your whole Family Wealth, including your Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets. I cannot go into the details here, but we will definitely talk about when you come in to meet with me.
And, I’ve never had a single Client who believed in this kind of planning and wanted to put it in place for their family leave my office because they couldn’t afford it. We’ve made creative financing available to our clients because we know that this planning is the foundation for success!
I look forward to seeing you and caring for your family soon!
~Natalia Bevilacqua, Esq.
Click HERE to schedule a 15 minute introductory telephone call with attorney Natalia Bevilacqua to schedule a Planning Session.