Many potential clients ask, what can we expect in our initial consultation at The Stephens Law Group? The following is a description of the process:
When you call for your complimentary one hour consultation, the Office Manager will arrange a convenient date and time for you to meet with me, Jack Stephens. I am the principal attorney and the owner of The Stephens Law Group. With over 30 years of experience in the legal field as an attorney, I have been involved in Trust litigation and have created thousands of Trusts and Estate Plans over the years. Additionally, I have been involved in numerous Trust Administrations on the death of a spouse or parent which may involve estate tax, capital gains tax, IRA income taxes
and real property tax reassessment. None of our Trusts have ever been contested in audit by the IRS or the California Franchise Tax Board. We have also never had a creditor successfully invade our client Trusts to jeopardize the inheritances of children beneficiaries. Based on the foregoing, you will be meeting with a seasoned professional and not an associate or paralegal.
A questionnaire will be sent to you which will be optional for you to complete prior to our meeting. Some potential clients bring them in fully or partially completed to the initial consultation and some do not. The questionnaire is the first step in obtaining an organization of your estate and helps to determine your critical issues and concerns.
We encourage you to bring a list of questions you might have regarding your Estate Plan along with any documents you wish to have renewed. If you are married, although not required, we feel that the presence of both spouses is essential in providing information and answering concerning
questions each may have. Also, if a personal consultation is not convenient, we have handled numerous consultations by telephone, especially for our out-of-town clients.
During the initial consultation, I will obtain personal information to aid in deciding the best type of Living Trust for you. A description of the alternative Living Trusts will be provided for example, A-B Trusts, A-B-C (QTIP) Trusts, Marital Trusts, Simple Trusts, Sole and Separate Property Trusts, IRA Trusts, etc.. During this discussion of Trusts, Wills and Powers of Attorney, I will explain the purpose and significance of each document.
At the conclusion of our consultation, I will orally summarize what type of documents I will be recommending for your Estate Plan. Within one to three days, we will email, or mail, you a Retainer Agreement which will list all of the documents and services I am recommending in writing.
The Retainer will include the stated fee in writing so that you will know exactly what services you will be paying for. We must see a copy of your deed(s) to quote a fee for transferring title to the Trust as deeds differ in length and legal description.
Once you receive the Retainer, the decision is up to you as to whether you wish to go forward. The fees set out in the Retainer expire after 30 days. Should you decide that you want us to prepare the documents, you and your spouse, if any, would sign the Retainer and send it back to our office.