How We Are Different – for Families
Explaining to you how we’re different requires an explanation of what the “traditional” experience with a lawyer is like. If you’ve worked with a lawyer to prepare a Will, Trust, S-Corporation, LLC or any other legal documents for you in the past, this will sound familiar.
During the traditional experience, you’ll go in and meet with a lawyer who will oftentimes make things seem very complicated and confusing.
You’ll have a good idea your lawyer is smart and seems to know what she’s doing, so you’ll nod and answer questions, as if you understand everything. Because you want to do the right thing for your family and for your business, you’ll have the lawyer prepare documents for you and you’ll sign the documents, feeling relieved you got THAT taken care of.
You’ll take your fancy estate planning binder full of documents home, stick them on a shelf or in a drawer, mark estate planning off your checklist as DONE, feel good and never think about it again.
You might remember your lawyer said something about moving your bank accounts into your trust so you’ll go to the bank, forget what you were supposed to do, call your lawyer’s office, get a voicemail, have to leave the bank and wait for a call back, (which takes several hours at least and sometimes days) and by that time, you’ll have gotten busy with other things and never get around to moving that bank account.
A few weeks later, you’ll get a bill in the mail for $67.50 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions. You’ll make a mental note– don’t call lawyer ever again.
Several years later, you’ll refinance your house or sell it and buy a new one and forget that you were supposed to let your lawyer know or make sure you kept the title in the name of the trust.
Your children will get older, making your guardianship choices outdated, but you don’t want to call your lawyer because you know you’ll get a bill in the mail two weeks later.
You’ll hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure you’d surely get a letter in the mail from your lawyer if it was something that affected you, so you don’t worry about it. And, you’d have to dig through boxes to find your trust documents so you could remember your lawyer’s name and find her contact information. Who has time for that?
It’s not until you become incapacitated or die and your family finds the binder you stuck up on a shelf several years before and never looked at again, that they’ll realize your plan is so outdated that it has nothing to do with your life, your assets and the law.
Your family is at a loss. They don’t know where to turn or what to do, so they contact the same lawyer you used to prepare the documents, who is as happy as can be to probate your assets, which never made it into the trust.
How do I know all this?
Because not too long ago, it happened to my family and to my business and I swore it would never happen to my clients when I created my own firm. And since then, I have seen countless clients come in to see me who have had this exact experience.
Unfortunately, what I discovered is the legal industry was not designed to serve growing families who experience lots of change on their way to success. It was designed to serve 70 and 80 year olds who were preparing for death. Business lawyers are for the most part simply incorporating businesses, but not truly and proactively advising them during the process of growth.
Our Firm Prepares You for Life
What makes our firm different is that we were built with the needs of growing families in mind. We understand you are BUSY, you are growing, you are planning for a life of prosperity and you value ease, convenience and efficiency. You want to know you’ve made the best decisions for your family and that your plan will work when your loved ones need it most. You want to make sure your children would be taken care of in the best way possible and will be prepared to receive your wealth if anything happens to you.
That is our focus as well. We’ve developed unique systems to give you the same access to a personal family lawyer as was previously only available to those that paid large retainers and hourly fees. At the Law Office of Jane E. DePalma you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and wealth.
We encourage communication with our clients. In fact, we’ve thrown out the time clocks so you never have to be afraid to call with a quick question. Everything we do is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises.
We have a whole team to serve you. When you call our office to ask your quick question, you won’t have to wait hours or days for a phone call back. You’ll get your question answered quickly. And, if you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with your personal lawyer, a call will be scheduled when you’re both available and ready for the call so we can make the very best use of your time and not waste it by leaving voicemail after voicemail in an endless game of phone tag.
And, we ensure the most important details of your planning are followed through on and your plan continues to work for you and thos eyou love - throughout your lifetime.
We have a “funding coordinator” to ensure your assets are protected throughout your lifetime and none of your assets will end up going through a long, expensive court process or being lost to the state because they were missed after your death.
We’ve created unique membership programs to keep your plan up to date, year in and year out, as well as give you access to our trusted team of experts for guidance on ANY legal or financial matter. One day you will need a lawyer. I don’t know why and I don’t know when, but when you do, you will be grateful you can call on us and we’ll be here to advise you or get you out of a jam.
Lastly, we believe your financial wealth is only a small part of your overall “Family Wealth” which is made up of your far more valuable, Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets – who you are and what’s important to you.
Most estate plans are only able to transfer your financial wealth onto the next generation. The intangible nature of your much greater wealth has made it difficult to capture and it is most often lost when someone passes. How much do you know about your grandparents values? Their most prized personal possessions? How they felt about you? What they had learned during their lifetime?
If you are like most people, you know very little. But, the wealthiest families capture these assets and pass them along right with their financial wealth. And, that’s part of the reason the rich keep getting richer. It’s your turn now.
We’ve developed a tool that allows us to pass on far more than just your money – your whole family wealth, including your Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets and we’ll definitely talk more about that when you come in to meet with us.
We look forward to seeing you and caring for your family soon!
PS – if you think this all sounds expensive, well, you are right and you’re wrong. I can guarantee you that if you qualify to meet with a Family Business Lawyer™,planning is substantially less costly than it would be for your family if you died with a plan that didn’t work or if you didn’t have a plan in place at all.
And, I’ve never had a single family who believed in this kind of planning and wanted to put it in place for their loved ones leave my office because they couldn’t afford it. We’ve made creative financing available to our clients because we know that this planning is the foundation for a life of success!