More About Estate Planning

What exactly is an Estate Plan?

Your Estate Plan will be comprised of a series of documents that are designed to achieve your goals as they relate to your circumstances. The documents may include one or all of the following: a Will, a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Directive, and Living Will. and a Trust or multiple trusts or cascading trusts.  Deciding which documents to include will depend on your circumstances and objectives.  There may be multiple ways to achieve your goal, and an Estate Planning Attorney can help you decide which choice is best in your circumstances.    

The process requires you to share important information about you and your life.  You must first decide what is most important to you and place a hierarchy on your goals.  You must provide information relating to the specific facts and circumstances of your life, your family dynamics, and your assets, and that information will be reviewed to evaluate how best to achieve your desired goals.  You will have an Education and Discovery meeting to discuss the information you provide for review, and options will be provided on how to proceed.  A  Life and Legacy Plan will be drafted following your strategic planning and Design meeting, and you will return to sign them thereafter.

Whether or not your plan will include a trust, or series of trusts, will depend on your circumstances. There are dozens of trust that can be created to serve different purposes. There are many valuable reasons to include same in your planning.  However, a trust may have little benefit in your circumstances and objectives do not warrant same. For example, probate in New Jersey is not as difficult or as costly as it is in other jurisdictions.  Therefore, if avoidance of probate was the only reason you were to consider a Revocable Living Trust, it would not be prudent to select a trust.  

What should I expect from our Estate Planning meeting?

The first step is to schedule your initial consultation though the calendaring system, Click Here for Calendar Link

Initial Consultation

During our Initial Consultation, we will meet briefly to learn a bit about one another.  If you decide to move forward, you will be provided with a calendar link to schedule your Education and Discovery conference. You will be provided an initial Estate Planning Questionnaire that must be completed in advance of our meeting, and also a Zoom link to allow a virtual space to discuss your matter.   Your Estate Planning Questionnaire must be completed and returned no less than 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. During the initial conference, we will discuss your objectives and concerns, and we will go over options available to you, plans and pricing.  You will be provided a retainer agreement during this meeting and payment link.  

Design Meeting

After the firm has been retained, a strategic planning and design meeting is scheduled. In some cases, the initial consultation and design meeting may be combined into one meeting.  During the design meeting, the proposed estate plan is presented to you.  Together we work through and customize strategies that meet your goals and objectives while also addressing your concerns.  

Estate Plan Summary

After the design meeting, a summary of your estate plan will be provided to you, and an additional conference may be scheduled, at your request, to educated interested parties of their role in your estate plan. Sometimes, meetings will be merged into the same meeting.

Signing Meeting

The signing ceremony is the next scheduled meeting.  This meeting must be an in person meeting, and may be scheduled at a location convenient to you.  During this meeting, the documents that will implement your Estate Plan are signed.  Your Estate Package will be delivered to you approximately two weeks after signing.  


Once the Estate Plan documents have been executed, it is necessary to ensure beneficiary designation changes and other funding issues are effective so that the plan works as designed.  We will discuss how our firm can help you in this regard.

Follow up Care

We offer a complimentary 5 year review meeting. During this meeting, we review and discuss changes to your family, estate and the law to determine what, if any, changes or updates must be made.  In addition to this complimentary service, we offer a Life and Legacy Care and Maintenance Plan (CAMP) which provides continued care services throughout the year, an annual review on the anniversary of your plan, complimentary successor meeting, DocuBank membership, and CAMP discounts for additional services for the member and for the member's family and friends.  The Life and Legacy CAMP is offered and a modest annual subscription basis.

Contact Hartmann Law today to schedule your Initial Conference.  

 Click HERE for Frequently Asked Questions.