The Estate Planning Process

If you are interested in finding out about Port Estate Planning, LLC, please call or e-mail.  Anne would be very happy to have an introductory meeting with you, either by phone or in person at the Firm’s office in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  The purpose of this introductory meeting, which is free of charge, is not for Anne to offer you legal advice, but rather for you to meet Anne and get a general sense of who she is and how she practices, so that you can decide whether or not you might be interested in working with her.

After the introductory meeting, if you think you might be interested in moving forward, you will be given a questionnaire to fill out regarding your family, your finances, and your estate planning goals.  This questionnaire will help Anne determine the type of estate planning that might be appropriate for you. Once Anne has had a chance to review your questionnaire, she will create an estate planning proposal for you.  She will clearly state what she would recommend for you, why she would recommend it, and what the fee for your planning would be.  You are entirely free to accept the proposal, or to decide to look elsewhere.  You will never receive pressure or a “hard sell” from Port Estate Planning, LLC; we want our new clients to be completely comfortable with us before committing to hiring us to do their estate planning. 

The fee that is quoted for the estate planning will be a fixed, flat fee that will be based on Anne’s estimate of the time and effort it will take her to prepare the plan. The fee will include everything:  Meetings, phone calls and e-mails between Anne and you during the planning process, Anne’s preparation of all the agreed-upon documents, and Anne’s supervision of the document signing.

Fifty percent of the estate planning fee will be due at the time that Anne sends you first drafts of your estate planning documents.  The other 50% will be due at the time you sign the documents. 

Anne will supervise the execution of your estate planning documents, as she wants to make sure that the signing process conforms to the various requirements of the law.  She can serve as the notary public, but you will need to supply two witnesses – the witnesses can be any adults who are not beneficiaries or fiduciaries under your estate plan. Friends, neighbors, or work colleagues could serve in this role.

Meetings of all types generally take place at the Firm’s office, which is conveniently located in the heart of Newburyport, Massachusetts.  Anne is also willing to meet with you at your home or office, though, if that is more convenient for you.  House calls will be free of charge to clients in the Newburyport area; a modest travel fee will be imposed for home or office visits outside that area.  Evening and weekend appointments for meetings can be arranged if it is difficult for you to attend meetings during normal business hours.

PLEASE NOTE: The Firm’s process for providing services other than the preparation of a new estate plan (for example, revisions to an existing plan, or probate or other post-death work) might be quite different from the process outlined above. If you are considering retaining Anne for such services, Anne will talk with you at the outset regarding what the process will be, what the fee structure will be, and what you can expect at each step of the representation.