You pay for me, and you get me. I do not have thousands of cases being worked on by hordes of paralegals. This is a very personal and personalized process. I will come to know your family, circumstances, hopes and fears. I am here to provide you with confidential, impartial advice and to assemble and lead a team of professional advisors when needed.
Fortunately, most clients come to me by referral from accountants, financial planners, insurance experts, trust officers and most importantly, other clients. If you have found me via an internet search, please know that before we meet you must complete a confidential questionnaire. (Why?) Request a confidential questionnaire.
While many attorneys are uncomfortable discussing their fees, it is of critical importance that you feel comfortable discussing my fees with me.
I prefer an all-inclusive, flat fee for service structure which allows for the free flow of information necessary to properly plan or administer an estate. (The only charges added are court costs or items for which we pay third party vendors such as Federal Express on the client's behalf. These are actual charges and are never "marked up").
Proper estate planning requires extensive conversation, analysis and counseling. Often there is a substantial review and analysis of documentation, including any existing planning (i.e., trusts, wills, business entities, agreements, etc) and asset structure. My consultations can be brief but tend to last at least a couple of hours, and may require even more time. If someone is watching the clock, then the exchanges become abbreviated. The nuances gleaned from thorough interviewing, interactive discussion and follow up are the keys to my success as your lawyer. You aren't charged for preparation or review of letters, emails or phone calls, or anything else relating to the time required to determine the efficacy of implementing a strategy. Therefore, my fees are broken down into these four phases:
Review & analysis
Planning & design
Implementation (document drafting)
You are not purchasing documents but rather investing in strategies and results that often take a considerable amount of time to ascertain and develop. Therefore, a substantial portion of the fee is attributable to effort undertaken before documents are drafted. Each of these phases are detailed in my retainer agreement, however, any fees spent before a fair all-inclusive fee is determined and agreed upon, are immediately credited so no effort is lost.
Unless your preference is an hourly fee, with the exception of trust and business entity funding, this all-inclusive fee approach can be applied throughout my practice areas.