Families turn to Obenauf Law Group because we take a different approach than “traditional” estate planning law firms. The following scenario will give you an idea of what we mean by this and how we are different.
When you work with a traditional law firm, you typically go to an initial meeting with a lawyer who uses a lot of big words, seems pressed for time and doesn’t appear to want you to ask many questions. You’ll agree with what the lawyer is saying because he or she seems smart and, well, you want the best for your family. A smart lawyer knows what he or she is doing, right?
So, you sign the documents the lawyer has given you and feel relieved to have gotten that whole estate planning thing out of the way. Then you put that nice binder the lawyer gave you in a desk drawer. Estate planning problem solved.
Oh, sure, the lawyer said something about funding a trust, but you weren’t sure what you were supposed to do to accomplish this at the time, and didn’t want to interrupt the lawyer’s presentation. When you called the office later to speak with the lawyer, you got voicemail. A day or three later, the lawyer called you back and told you what had to be done to fund the trust. Shortly thereafter, you got a bill for $75 to cover the fifteen minute phone call with the lawyer and you vowed never to make the mistake of calling there again.
The years go by, and you financial and personal situations change. You buy, sell or refinance a house. Your children get older, get married, get divorced, have children of their own. Laws governing estate taxes change. You think that if these changes impacted your plan, you would hear from your estate planning attorney. You don’t. And you’re too busy with living your life to think about how all of these changes might impact your estate plan, let alone sifting through the old documents to find the ones in need of updating. You could call the lawyer, old what’s his name, but that’s not exactly a toll-free call.
And then comes a day when you and your family really need those documents. You’ve become incapacitated, or passed away, but that old binder with the now outdated planning documents no longer reflects your financial situation, that of your family, or the law. For all the good it will do you and your family, it’s as if the plan had never been created.
How we break from tradition
At Obenauf Law Group, we focus on the needs of growing families. We know that you are busy and don’t spend every waking minute contemplating changes you might have to make to your estate plan. This is why we have put systems in place to make the planning process convenient, stress free and efficient. We stay in touch with you, answer your calls quickly and do not charge you an arm and a leg every time you ask us a simple question. In fact, all of our estate planning services are billed on a flat-fee basis, which we agree upon in advance, so that there are no unpleasant surprises sitting in your mailbox.
In addition, we have a Funding Coordinator dedicated to ensuring your trusts are funded and your assets protected throughout your lifetime. And perhaps most importantly, we believe that your financial wealth is only a part of your overall plan. The plan we create for you will address issues such as who you are, what matters most to you in life, and how you can pass your values and legacy to future generations.
We look forward to discussing the tools and strategies we have developed to help you accomplish these and other goals when you visit us for a personal meeting. Contact us today to learn how a non-traditional approach to estate planning is the approach best suited to the needs of families today.