Pricing for Theo Estate Planning
Achieve Peace of Mind by Protecting Your Family and Preserving Your Wealth
For families with more than $150,000 in assets
For families with more than $150,000 in assets but that prefer to fund their living trust themselves
For families with less than $150,000 in assets
All Plans Include Priceless Conversations
Custom Upgrades Available
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Why Online Documents Won't Provide Peace of Mind
You’ve seen the commercials and, maybe, you’ve even checked out the websites. It’s no secret. There are plenty of online options for low-cost estate-planning documents.
Are they cheaper than hiring a lawyer? Certainly.
But will you have the peace of mind of knowing, if something happens to you, that your family will be protected and that your wealth will be preserved? Probably not.
Here are three problems with online document providers:
One-size-fits-all approach. Their templates are designed for the most-basic family situations and do not offer advanced customization options for achieving your goals.
No Education. No one will educate you about estate planning basics or what advanced options are available.
No Advice. Online documents providers cannot provide legal advice. Questions about your specific situation won’t be answered and no one will identify any issues that you’ve missed.
So, in the end, it's unlikely that you'll the peace of mind of knowing that everything has been taken care of properly.
By contrast, if you plan with me, you’ll rest easy at night knowing that your children will never end up in foster care, even temporarily, and that your estate plan will work as designed.
Why Do You Cost More Than Other Attorneys?
To answer, I’ll use an analogy:
Imagine you’re craving a steak for dinner. You could walk into a Denny’s, an Outback Steakhouse, or a Ruth’s Chris Steak House. At each restaurant you could order a “steak” and they’d bring one out to you.
But you wouldn’t get the same quality meat or the same quality experience. Even though each restaurant sells steaks, they’re selling a completely different product and a completely different customer experience.
If you’re looking for a high-quality steak served to you with superb customer service, you know where to go.
Back to estate planning.
My plans are more expensive than other attorneys because I’m selling a higher-quality product with a higher degree of client service.
Why My Plans Are Better
Many attorneys offer estate plans that are only marginally better than what you’d get online. Sometimes these plans will work, but sometimes they’ll fail.
I’ve identified several gaps in these kinds of plans and have designed my plans to avoid them.
Mistake #1 - Failing to properly fund the trust
Your living trust isn’t worth the paper it’s written on unless its properly funded. To properly fund a trust, you must transfer all your assets into it.
Yet many attorneys only pay lip service to this critical step. They’ll mention it during your meetings and send you a reminder letter two weeks after you get your trust documents.
But, beyond that, you’re on your own.
You’ll put it on your to-do list, get busy, and then completely forget about it. The assets will stay in your name.
That means that, when you pass away, your family will have to go through the probate process in order to receive their inheritance. They’ll be stuck in court, paying unnecessary fees and dealing with unnecessary stress.
In other words, your living trust will have failed.
My plans use a Family Wealth Tracker to make asset transfers a central part of the planning process. Before you sign your trust documents, we’ll compile and organize all your financial assets. As soon as the trust has been executed, we’ll then work together to make sure that everything is properly transferred.
If you select the Trust plan, you’ll be responsible for completing the transfers with my guidance and support. I’ll keep you on track and hold you accountable. If you select the Trust Plus plan, I’ll take primary responsibility for the transfers.
I build this procedure into my planning process so that there’s no chance any of your assets slip through the cracks.
Mistake #2 – Letting your plan grow stale
Estate planning involves three unknowns at the time you pass away:
- What assets you’ll own;
- What your family situation will be; and
- What the estate-tax laws will be.
Your family and your assets are likely to change over time and estate-tax laws are constantly changing. That means that your estate plan must be reviewed periodically to make sure it still works as you intended. For example, many living trusts created before 2012 are contain overly restrictive provisions that made sense at the time the trust was drafted, but no longer do.
Unfortunately, many estate-planning attorneys take your money, hand you a fancy binder with your plan documents, and are never heard from again. As a result, these plans are at risk of failing because they are not updated to reflect important changes to your assets, your family, or the law.
I view the delivery of your estate planning as the beginning of our relationship. I provide free plan reviews once every three years and offer membership programs that include no-cost annual reviews and unlimited plan updates.
Mistaking # 3 – Failing to include nominations for short-term guardians and emergency instructions for caregivers
Naming long-term guardians for your children is not enough. These guardians may live hundreds or even thousands of miles away. If something happens to you, it’s going to take time for your guardians to get to your children.
Failing to name short-term guardians and provide instructions to caretakers creates a risk that your children could temporarily end up in foster care.
Imagine you and your spouse get into a car accident on the way home from date night.
You told your fifteen-year-old babysitter that you’d be home at 9:30. She waits until 9:45 to start calling your cell phones.
But, by then, you and your spouse have been transported to the ICU and your cellphones are still in your car, which is on its way to the tow yard. The babysitter gets nervous and just calls the police.
They arrive but can’t wait at your house all night. And they’re not going to leave your children alone with a teenager. So, they send your babysitter home and take your kids back to the station. The captain lets them sleep on the couch in his office. In the morning, they call Child Protective Services to come pick up your kids.
Child Protective Services can’t locate you either and isn’t able to keep your children at its office overnight. So, it sends them to a foster home until it can figure out what happened and who should be taking care of your children.
Is this a risk your children should face?
My plans include a Family-Emergency Action Plan so this never happens to you. It includes:
- Short-Term Guardian Nominations. These first responders live within 20 minutes of you and are authorized to look after your children until the long-term guardians can arrive.
- Caregiver Instructions. Tell your nanny or babysitter to contact your first responders if you and your spouse don’t come home when expected
- Family-Emergency ID Cards. You’ll keep one in your wallet so, if you’re severely injured or incapacitated, those who come to your aid will know to call your first responders.
Mistake #4 – Ignoring what’s really most important: your values and your human, spiritual, and intellectual assets
Many plans only focus on passing on your money and other financial assets.
But you are much more than just your money and your property.
You want to impart your wisdom and values to your loved ones. And you want them to know your history and what’s important to you.
My plans include Priceless Conversations. We’ll create audio recordings where you’ll share your wisdom, values, and history. Your loved ones will never yearn to hear your voice one last time.
Why My Client Service is Better
Lawyers who only charge bargain rates for estate plans can’t afford to invest the time and resources into making sure your plan actually works. For them, quantity is prioritized over quality.
You’ll be passed off to poorly trained non-attorneys at every opportunity. Calls won’t get returned and emails will go unanswered.
You’ll feel ignored and will never have the peace of mind of knowing that your estate plan has been taken care of properly.
I intentionally keep the number of clients I work with low. I want to be able to truly serve you, not just get you in and out of the door as fast as possible.
If we work together, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your family will be protected and that your wealth will be preserved. I’ll take the time to answer all your questions and I’ll guide your through the asset-transfer process, or I’ll take responsibility for it myself. I’ll encourage you to call me for any issue and I’ll never charge you for the call. I’ll keep in touch and make sure that you’re aware of any legal changes that affect you.
In other words, I will be your trusted adviser.
The first step in the process is booking an initial consultation, which you can do here.
I call my initial consultations Family Wealth & Legacy Planning Sessions because, even if we don’t end up working together, I want to make sure that I’m providing you with value.
The purpose of the session is to show you exactly what would happen to you and your family if you were to pass away without a plan in place (or with your current plan, if you have one). We’ll talk about your kids and your assets.
If you’re okay with what would happen, then there’s no need to establish a formal estate plan.
If you’re not happy with what would happen under the default rules, then we’ll talk about which one of my plans will best achieve your goals.
Once you select a plan, I’ll show you your options and we’ll design it together. If needed, we’ll meet again to finalize the design.
The next step is the signing meeting. Before this meeting, you’ll have received a confirmation of important details in the mail. After you approve it, I’ll get draft your plan.
When it’s ready, we’ll have a signing meeting. In addition to signing your plan documents, we’ll check in on your Family Wealth Tracker, which is the inventory of all your assets. By this point, all your assets should be identified and organized using our system. If you select the Trust plan, I’ll provide you with the funding toolkit, which contains instructions and form letters, and you’ll get started transferring your assets into your living trust. Or, if you select the Trust Plus plan, I will start working on the transfers.
The final meeting is the binder-delivery meeting. I’ll provide you with a binder that contains your original plan documents as well as an electronic copy. By this point, all your assets should will have been transferred into your living trust. We’ll record your Priceless Conversations. And I’ll offer to enroll you in my membership program.
You’ll be entitled to a no-cost plan review once every three years. Or, if you’re enrolled in the membership program, you’ll receive annual no-cost reviews and unlimited plan updates.
What Payments Do You Accept?
I accept check, debit card, and credit cards.
Do You Offer Payment Plans?
Yes, I offer payment plans.
I require half the cost of the plan upfront and the balance paid out in two installments. My planning process takes between two and four in-person meetings over eight to ten weeks. Your entire balance must be paid off no later than three days before the final meeting.
If you have any more questions about planning with me, I encourage you to book a 15-minute phone consultation, which you can do here.