We want you to feel comfortable
FREE Estate Planning Consultation
As a Chicago estate planning law firm, Matlin & Associates, P.C., wants people to feel comfortable with the estate planning and trust administration process.
Therefore, we provide a FREE estate planning consultation. This initial consultation is intended as a get-acquainted session to see if we're comfortable working together and generally lasts a half-hour to a hour.
As for what you'll need in terms of documentation and advice, you may already know. Or you may need guidance in formulating a plan that fits your life and your family dynamics. In either case, perhaps we can help.
If you want to bring your children, that's fine with us. Since they're probably a large part of the reason why you're here, it wouldn't really be right on our part not to welcome them here as well. To keep children entertained while conducting our boring, grown-up business with their parents - we keep children's books, toys and DVDs on hand.
Please note: The free estate planning consultation applies only to initial estate planning meetings and does not apply for consultations regarding probate, trust administration, trust litigation, guardianships, or other legal type work.
Estate planning is about more than money or possessions or property or simply deciding who gets what. While those things are important, other aspects of creating an estate plan focus on you, your values, and your legacy. In other words:
How much or how little you have doesn't matter; an estate plan can reflect your values and the people and causes you care about.
In that sense, the possibilities for what a well-thought out estate plan can accomplish are almost endless.
Many times when a loved one passes, there can be complex requirements in the handling of the estate. During this difficult time, family members and trustees can become overwhelmed. Our goal is to handle these situations with compassion and sensitivity.
getting ready to meet With Us
What to bring
It is helpful to bring any existing wills, trusts and powers of attorney, a list of beneficiaries and also a list of potential fiduciaries—people or banks who can act on your behalf in the event of death or incapacity. Your beneficiaries' addresses and birthdays, and the addresses of anyone who may act on your behalf such as potential guardians, agents, executors and trustees. If you have a financial balance sheet or detailed list of assets bring that, but usually a general idea of your assets, including insurance, is sufficient for the initial estate planning consultation. In most instances, you can get the ball rolling if you have at least a general idea of your assets. Matlin & Associates can tell you what else you need to move forward.
Knowing the general nature and extent of your assets is a basic requirement for competence to write a legally binding will or trust. The allegation of incapacity (along with undue influence) is a common reason to challenge an otherwise legally binding estate plan.
At the end of our first estate planning meeting you can decide whether or not Matlin and Associates should prepare an Engagement Letter in anticipation of your hiring us. The price list can give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of cost. If you're not sure you want to hire us, then take the Engagement Letter home without signing it and get back to us if you wish. If you decide to proceed, then you sign the Engagement Letter and we will consult our calendars.
Once we are hired with an Engagement Letter and have resolved any outstanding issues preventing us from getting started, we send you a draft of the documents (.pdf or hardcopy), usually within a few weeks. If the draft needs work, then we exchange more information until we have the semblance of a meeting of the minds. Usually at the second meeting we review the drafts. You may sign or it may require another meeting. A signing meeting takes about 2 - 2.5 hours for a married couple with two trusts. After you have signed your documents, we make copies. We give you the originals to keep in the safe place.
Estate Planning Questionnaire
The more you know about what you own, the more complete your estate plan can potentially be. One way of getting even more organized prior to meeting a lawyer is fill out a questionnaire. We have supplied an Estate Planning Questionnaire. Please do not get hung up in the details of the questionnaire if it's going to put off an actual meeting. If it's too daunting a task for you to get through a detailed questionnaire, then just collect a few things we mentioned above before coming to meet with us.
- Estate Planning
- Probate & Trust Administration