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Our Unique Process

Our Unique Process

Most estate plans just don't work. An estate plan that works is one that meets your expectations. Imagine after you're gone, looking down on the scene. Are your affairs a disorganized mess, wasting your hard-earned money? Are there taxes or probate proceedings that might have been avoided? Is everyone getting along or are they fighting? Are the needs of a loved one being met? Is their inheritance protected from lawsuits or divorces? Is someone taking advantage of a loved one in decline? Has your estate left your bloodline?

 The Heritage Plan Process.

 Ward Legal Group PC has developed a unique process to create and maintain an estate plan, called the Heritage Plan ™, to help our clients preserve their estates and their values.  It is designed to help clients create a comprehensive customized estate plan that works, and in the process, a strong attorney-client relationship will evolve, to provide long term support.

Step One is to work with a Counseling Oriented Attorney.

Estate planning is a process, not a document. Much of what passes for estate planning today is little more than word processing. The true value of an estate planning attorney, however, is in their legal counsel, based on their knowledge and experience. For an estate plan that works, you must seek good counseling. After an initial consultation, our Heritage Plan ™ clients typically engage in a series of meetings for the thoughtful design, delivery and funding of a customized plan that is right for them. We also recommend that our clients' planning be coordinated with their other professional advisors.

Step Two is to participate in a Formal Maintenance Program.

An estate plan faces a myriad of changes over time, in your life, in the law, and with your lawyer. You cannot expect a plan to work as intended if it is never reviewed and updated. The costs of failing to update, both economic and non-economic, are typically far greater than the costs of keeping your plan current. Our Heritage Plan ™ clients are entitled to ongoing telephone consultation, periodic educational opportunities for them and their helpers, participation in our annual client meeting, and a periodic review of their plan at a modest fee.

Step Three is to strive for an Efficient and Effective Settlement.

All plans eventually must be settled. There are always necessary steps in winding up your affairs, meeting tax and other obligations, and transferring assets. Wills go through probate. Trusts must be administered. It only makes sense that that an efficient and effective settlement is more likely if a plan is carefully designed, implemented and kept current. An efficient and effective settlement not only is less costly, it also makes for a much better experience for those you leave behind.

The Traditional Estate Planning Option.

Traditional planning focuses on the most basic elements of estate planning. It might involve a simple Will or simple Trust, plus ancillary documents such as Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives for Health Care. Clients with these basic plans are always advised to return at regular intervals for review.

Traditional planning is a reasonable choice as long as it is an informed choice. Some people have more limited and narrow planning goals, they may not have the time to commit to a process of comprehensive planning, or they may wish to put a very basic plan in place as a less expensive or temporary measure. Although traditional planning is not the best approach for many people, it is far better than no planning at all. Clients also may transition later to a more comprehensive Heritage Plan ™.

Getting Started. Contact us for an initial consultation. We will send you an Estate Planning Worksheet and other materials to help you prepare. When we get together, you will tell us about yourself, your family and your estate. We will educate you about basic estate planning issues and options. And we usually can quote a flat fee for the legal work associated with your chosen plan. There is a token fee for this consultation, which is applied to the fee for any legal work for which we are engaged.

 

 

 


Ward Legal Group PC is an estate planning and elder law firm serving all of New Hampshire and Vermont, including Keene and the nearby areas of Peterborough, Walpole, Brattleboro, Wilmington and Bellows Falls.

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129 West Street, Keene, NH 03431
| Phone: (603) 352-7310

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