What is stopping YOU from estate planning?
Updated: Mar 16
Hi, I'm Leslie Sultan. I'm an estate planning attorney in New York. I am sure many of you have experienced the need to do something important - like estate planning! – but quickly forget about it due to distractions, daily life, and other urgent matters.
I've had a lot of clients tell me they are often held back by this concept of urgency vs. importance. We tend to do things that are urgent but not important before we do things that are important but not urgent. Estate planning tends to fall into the important but not urgent category, and we inevitably put it off.
Then there's the cost. Maybe you don't know what it costs. Or maybe you think the cost might be more than you can afford. One way to determine this is to find out if the attorney charges a flat rate. Although most attorneys charge flat rates for estate planning, you can ask an attorney if they'll take a payment plan. A payment plan allows you to make payments over the time of the drafting process phases. Let me briefly walk you through the process:
· First, there’s an interview/questionnaire planning phase.
· Then there's a drafting phase, and
· finally, a signing phase.
By the time you're ready to sign, you've paid in full.
Lastly, there's the trick of finding a trustworthy and competent attorney. Have you ever called an attorney's office, and did not receive a call back? Or sent an email and nobody responded? Unfortunately, attorneys are notorious for this. When you're looking for an attorney, you want to find one who focuses on customer service – Tip: check their Google reviews! You really want to take your time to find an attorney who is going to be supportive of you and your family. A reliable attorney who calls you back is going to be the first indicator of what kind of person you want on your estate planning team!
About the Author
Leslie has been practicing law since 2009 and is the host of the estate planning podcast 'Legacy Purse'. She has a long history of representing family members struggling to inherit property and/or wealth from deceased family members through the Probate Courts. Knowing how time-consuming and expensive the probate process is, Leslie takes great pride in helping her clients learn how to plan and protect their families during their lives so they can avoid the probate court process and save their loved ones that additional grief (and expense).