Getting Started

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

- Richard Cushing

We know, beginning your estate plan is a big step.  Therefore, Phase I our process is designed to ensure your confidence in our planning approach each step of the way.   Over the course of approximately eight weeks, you will meet with Karin Foster, our owner and founder, for about 5.5 hours to complete and deliver the estate planning paperwork.  Additional time will be needed for the completion of the deeds and funding documents as well as any business planning documents.  Of course, if more time is needed, then we will gladly accommodate your needs. 

How to Get Started on your Estate Planning Journey

Step One: If you have never done Estate planning before - Schedule your Free 15 minute phone Consult with our Attorney

At Treveri Law, education is an important part of the process.  If you have never done estate planning before, it is important that you understand why it is important.  Please call our office at 505-808-0234 to schedule your free 15 minute phone consult.  At this meeting we will discuss the general status of your current affairs and what would happen if you did nothing (hint: the government has a plan that you may not like).  This meeting is a generalized education session and not specific to your personal situation. 

 

If you have done estate planning before, and you want to review your documents, your assets or talk specifics about your unique situation, you will be required to schedule a paid consultation for which we charge $350 per hour plus New Mexico Gross Receipts tax, paid up front.  

Step Two:  Designing your Estate Plan Session  

You may already know that you want to do your estate planning because you know you need to protect those you love.  The 1 hour Estate Planning Design session will give you a comprehensive review of your assets, your heirs, your financial situation and which estate plan would be best for you and your family.   This meeting entails significant legal review and analysis thus a fee of $350 is charged for this session.  If you decide to hire Treveri Law to create a comprehensive plan for you, this planning fee will NOT be applied to the overall estimated fee for your plan.  

 
Important: Step 2.5 - Complete your paperwork

About 3 days after scheduling your design appointment, you will receive  a Treveri Process overview form as well as a "homework for clients form." We will ask you to start to gather the documents on the homework form in order to move forward in the process.  Please note that we will not review these documents at our initial meeting other than cursorily to determine what type of assets you own.  However, this information will be vital once we decide why type of plan you wish to have to protect your loved ones.  We have found that clients who take the time to start to gather their forms at this stage get more organized and gain a better understanding of their personal estates and over all process.

 

Step Three:  Your Estate Plan Design meeting

The Estate Planning Design meeting is also an opportunity for you to meet with Karin Foster, so that you each can determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm.  Ms. Foster will walk you through exactly what your loved ones would have to do if something happened to you. We will discuss very personal issues such as your medical conditions, concerns about your finances, the competency, maturity and mental status of your children and the stability of your marriage should a remarriage situation occur.  Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, we will help you to choose the planning level and fee that is right for your family.  Then we will discuss the very specific details of your situation to design a unique plan that will give you the peace of mind of knowing your family will be taken care of in the event the unthinkable happens.

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Step Four:  The Signing Ceremony

Once your plan has been designed to your satisfaction, you will return to our office about 3 weeks later to sign your planning documents.  This meeting is generally about 2 hours as we will discuss and review every provision of your documents to make sure you understand how your assets, wealth and legacy are transferred in the way you want them to be transferred.  After signing these documents, your family and your assets will be protected in the case of your death or incapacity.

 

Step Five:  The Asset Review / Legacy meeting

This is one of the most important meetings of our process because this meeting is when we:

(1) ensure your assets are all owned in the right way which includes finalizing deed paperwork; 

(2) Assist you to transfer assets to your trust so that the legal vehicle we created is properly funded; 

Step Six:  Followup Annual Teleconference 

You will be contacted annually by our office to ask if there have been major life changes to you or your family over the past year.  If your legal documents need minor updates, such as adding or changing one or two name, this is included in your plan.  However, any additional changes such as changing all the names of your named fiduciaries, agents or beneficiaries will be considered a "significant update" which will be discussed up front and changed at our posted hourly rate for attorney time and staff.  

Because your life changes, the law changes and your family changes, it is recommended that your documents will need to be reviewed and possibly updated every three to five years.

Step Seven:   When a Triggering event happens

When a catastrophic disability or death event happens, the value of having an estate plan in place is invaluable.  As with Ms. Foster's own father, the sudden diagnosis of brain cancer created a domino effect whereby Nominated Agents were fully responsible for medical, mental health, end-of life decisions as well as managing the finances, real estate, taxes and unexpected legal issues.  Because the legal documents were in place, emotional and irrational decisions were avoided, bills were paid, assets were protected and legal challenges from bickering children were avoided.  And continued care for Ms. Foster's mother was possible without the involvement of any state courts.  

In the event of a death, a complete revision of the estate planning documents for the Survivor is necessary.  The initial fees for developing your initial estate plans do not include rewrites of documents to a Surviving spouse.  There will be an additional, negotiated fee for drafting and execution of these documents.  In addition, several IRS filings and some protective filings may need to be made which will include appraisals of assets as well as communications with your financial advisors as well as your CPA.  

Step Eight:  The final disposition

When the death of a Survivor occurs, the formal Administrative period for an estate begins.  The nominated Personal Representative will need assistance with the Probate proceedings.  The nominated Successor Trustees will need assistance with the final administration of the Trust including paying bills, reviewing assets and paying off any final taxes.  The transfer of assets to beneficiaries would occur after a full review of beneficiary competency including risks for divorce, bankruptcy and lawsuits.  Trustees will be educated on their responsibilities including the requirements that discretionary distributions may only occur pursuant to ascertainable standards.  On the other hand, if the beneficiary has no competency, incapacity, divorce, bankruptcy or legal issues, the assets would be transferred outright and the trust terminated. 

 

At Treveri Law, we have helped many families with the Trust Administration and Probate process after the death of a loved one.  If you wish to establish Estate planning documents and a clear process for your estate to follow after a triggering event such as disability or your death, please call us today at 505-808-0234 to get started. 

Are you ready to Protect those you LOVE?  Call Treveri Law at 505-808-0234 today to schedule a consult today!