Here's a breakdown of how your knowledge from the "How to Protect Your Stuff in 3 Easy Steps" workshop can enhance your initial estate planning consultations, particularly when evaluating existing estate plans:

Pre-Consultation Preparation:older couple estate planning consultation

  • Detailed Questionnaire: We've designed a comprehensive questionnaire informed by the 3-step framework, which includes questions about the client's assets, beneficiaries, potential risks, and their overall goals. We request copies of any existing estate planning documents in advance.
  • Review Existing Documents: If the client has a prior plan, we carefully analyze it using the knowledge gained from the workshop. We'll identify potential gaps, inconsistencies, or outdated provisions in light of current laws and the client's circumstances.

During the Initial Consultation:

  1. Understand the Client's Story:
  • We will try to understand the client's personal goals, concerns, and family dynamics that motivate their estate planning.
  • Find out what they learned from the workshop, and what questions remain. This helps gauge their baseline understanding.
  • Discuss responses to the questionanaire and clarify any ambiguities, getting a clear picture of their assets, beneficiaries, and potential risks.
  1. Evaluate Their Existing Plan (if applicable):
  • Highlight areas of the existing plan that align well with the 3-step framework and areas that need revision or additional attention.
  • Using plain language, we'll explain why any elements of their previous plan may be ineffective, obsolete, or conflict with their current goals, referring to updated laws and regulations if relevant.
  • Guide you through available options to address concerns and explain potential consequences of not updating your plan.
  1. Offer Tailored Recommendations:
  • We will present customized recommendations for updating an existing plan or creating a new one and address concerns raised during the existing plan review to ensure that the plan aligns with your goals.
  • Explain legal concepts clearly: Using simplified terminology to explain the rationale behind our recommendations and how specific legal tools like wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc., will work together to protect your assets and your loved ones, we will help you understand what is needed.
  • Address potential risks: Discuss ways the proposed plan mitigates risks they identified. Be proactive about discussing hypothetical scenarios, highlighting how their plan addresses unforeseen issues.

Follow-Up and Next Steps:

  • Provide clear action items: We outline specific next steps for you, like gathering additional documentation, scheduling appointments with financial advisors, or having follow-up consultations to review draft documents.
  • Reiterate the value of regular review: We will remind you how your estate plans should be revisited periodically and outline potential triggers that would necessitate updates (changes in family dynamics, major life events, changes in legislation).