Now that we have covered the basis upon which every attorney-client relationship is based, particularly in family law and estate planning, I want to guide you through the process of handling your case, the advantages attorneys like me can offer, and what your estate planning and family law experience might look like.
The Estate Planning Process: A Generational Journey
The first thing to know about the estate planning process, and attorney relationship, is that it is meant to survive you. It is a relationship and service both with and for you, but also with and for your family.
You may come to me to help you draw up your estate plan, to make sure your wishes are realized when you pass away. But I can, and hopefully will, be a guide for your family through the probate process, and even help them plan their own estate wishes later.
We want to make family relationships that last for a long time. We want to get to know your situation and what your needs are. And be able to adapt to them as they change, because they do change.
Young families come in making plans for their young children, then their children grow and they come back in to change those plans for their young adult children. And then again, as they’re reaching their elderly years, help them change those plans again. Each time with the confidence that their attorney, or their firm, understands their needs and always has their best interest in mind.
A Service That Evolves With Your Needs As You Age
Your life, and estate planning needs, change as you grow through all the stages of life. A good estate planning service changes with you, and adapts to your needs.
At first, we would probably set up a fairly simple will and a testamentary trust for your children when the family is young, to make sure your children are provided for should any misfortune arrive. As you grow older, acquiring more assets, we might do some more sensitive planning to ensure those assets will be well managed and your children benefit according to their needs.
Eventually, we transition to more extensive planning for your older years, including any eventual Medicaid planning. After all, when you are looking to qualify for Medicaid or if you need some tax planning at that time, we can help you with that as well.
We Care For You, And Your Legacy
Eventually, when one of the partners dies, we would help the surviving partner to transition to being the sole remaining partner. We help them handle all the difficult decisions that go along with losing a partner and the heirs that are left behind. All of this is far easier when you trust and share a connection with your attorney, instead of going to someone who knows nothing about you or the family.
As a result, I firmly believe in establishing a strong rapport with my clients, building trust and a relationship that endures well past both of us might have passed on. After all, your legacy is our legacy as well.
Family Law: Helping You Build New Foundations
Now on the family law side, I like to think that when you go through a divorce, the goal is to make it as amiable as possible. We set up the case from the very outset so that you’re not focusing on dividing a relationship, but laying the foundation for new ones.
I aim to restructure, without destroying, that relationship so that both parties can live amicably afterward. After all, in most cases, especially when there are children involved, you’re going to have to deal with each other for quite some time regardless.
If you do it correctly, with the help of an experienced, empathetic, and skilled attorney, there is often a way to do so such that the parties don’t hate each other and can be amicable towards each other. Especially when this allows their children to thrive.
It Is Called Family Law For A Very Good Reason
While most family law cases are divorces, my focus is always on the children.
The ideal outcome for me is one where the children are able to love both parents and have a good relationship with both parents as they get older. While it is the focus which I aim to set up early and keep throughout the case, I know full well that it is not always entirely possible.
Sometimes divisions are too deep, and the court, after all, is not a place for healing wounds. But for defending your, and your children’s, best interests. If it is not possible to do so amicably, then I want to build in as much protection for you and your family as I can moving forward.
Finding The Right Price
Now that you know what the process will look like, and the driving forces behind your needs and representation, you will still have to choose the attorney that is right for you. And one factor many clients will choose a lawyer based on is price, either aiming for the lowest possible price to keep costs down, or the most expensive, assuming they will come with the best possible representation. Sadly, neither is automatically going to work out the way they hope.
What Do You Lose With A Low-Cost Attorney?
A lower-fee attorney will often be looking only at the immediate matter before them. They keep costs low by handling the strict minimum.
On the estate side, they’ll be looking at doing the will you ask for, and will build it with only the exact current circumstances in mind. There is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t necessarily set you up well for the next stage. You might have to go back in 2, 5, or 10 years, and reexplain everything from the start, or even start over with a new lawyer.
On the family law side, they will get you divorced or resolve whatever your initial case with them is. They will get that matter handled, but nothing will be done to help ensure the future of your relationships. Doing so is rarely providing the best service to you as a client, sometimes it may even cost you more in the long run.
Low Cost Now, Might Mean High Costs Later
I look at some of the agreements that come in from other attorneys, and what is often left out of those agreements is what is inevitably bringing that client back into court. Which could have been avoided. If you had a well-drafted parenting agreement and a well-drafted separation agreement, there would have been no need to go back to court.
By handling such matters at the outset, which might have cost you more in the short term, you can prevent costly disagreements that arise later and bring you back to court, sometimes incurring far greater expenses in the long run.
What Do You Buy With A High Price Tag?
Unfortunately, a higher price tag is not always the solution either. In the end, the most important factor is an attorney’s experience. You want someone who has been involved long enough to have seen everything that is going to come up. Someone who will be able to anticipate and handle any situation that arises in or out of court.
You might think that someone with that kind of experience will always charge the most, but that is not necessarily the case. Sometimes that high price tag is covering other costs: a lot of advertising or a sizable staff, factors which might have little to no positive impact on their ability to represent you.
A smaller office can do everything a large one can, will avoid losing money to advertising, and can even sometimes offer even better representation. Which I think we can all agree is the most essential end result. And what I always aim to provide.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Estate Planning & Family Law, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Estate Planning & Family Laws in Colorado, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (719) 988-3884 today.