PRACTICE AREAS

 

Estate Planning

It is the fruit of your hard work, your legacy; let us help you protect it. At Socks Law Associates, PLLC, we offer a wide range of estate planning services to meet our clients' needs. We are a one-stop for the drafting of your will, trust, durable power of attorney or healthcare directive documents. You've worked hard to build your assets. We'll work hard for you to help you protect them.

 

Call us at 1-214-550 2093 to schedule a confidential consultation. Our attorneys can assist you with any of the following:

  • Wills - Non Tax Planned
  • Wills - Tax Planned
  • Trusts
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Private Foundations
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Medical Powers of Attorney
  • Directive to Physicians - Living Wills
  • Medical Authorization Forms
  • Declaration of Guardian
  • Burial and treatment of last remains directives
  • Gift Planning - Charitable and Non Charitable
  • Tax Planning

Our Estate Planning Process

Introductory Meeting

The starting point in estate planning is usually a 30 to 60 minute introductory meeting. During the meeting, we will discuss general estate planning concepts and answer any questions you may have about our estate planning services. A reduced cost is charged for this introductory meeting. During an introductory meeting, we would not get into the details or issues surrounding your specific circumstances.

Getting Started

Once you have decided to proceed with our office in developing your estate plan, we ask that you complete the Questionnaire and the Engagement Contract and call our office to schedule a planning meeting to discuss the specific structure and terms of your plan. If you have decided at the outset that you would like to work with us, you do not need to go through the step of an introductory meeting; you may begin with the planning meeting. This would require that we send you the Questionnaire via email and that you complete the form and send it back to us at least three days prior to the planning meeting.

Planning Meeting

The planning meeting will probably last 1-2 hours. During the meeting, we will review the completed questionnaire; discuss your objectives, and the techniques that can be used to meet those objectives; and determine, at least tentatively, the structure for your estate plan. After the structure meeting, we usually have sufficient information to proceed with the project. In some cases, more than one planning meeting may be appropriate.

Fixed Fee Letter

Before we draft the documents that will implement the plan, we will send to you a letter outlining the basic structure and terms of the estate plan and proposing a “fixed fee” to complete the plan. We ask you to sign and return the letter with one-half of the fixed fee.

Draft Documents

Within two to four weeks after receipt of your signed authorization for us to proceed, we will send you the draft documents with a cover letter addressing any specific issues or outstanding matters not addressed by the documents. After you review the materials, we will respond to your questions, comments or changes by phone or at a follow-up meeting.

Finalization of Documents

After your questions have been answered and any changes to the documents have been made, we will schedule a brief meeting to execute the documents and discuss any follow-up matters. We will store the original signed documents in our vault and will send to you an estate planning portfolio binder with copies of the documents and other information related to your completed estate plan. In most cases, the entire process can be completed within 15-30 days after our planning meeting.

Estate Taxes

The minimization or avoidance of estate taxes is typically a significant aspect of the estate planning process. Estate taxes can be a substantial cost and can force the liquidation of assets at an inopportune time. Under current law, the excess over $5 million of one’s taxable estate (which includes retirement accounts and life insurance death benefits) will be taxed at a 35% rate. The current exemption and rate are in effect through 2012. Beginning in 2013, the exemption will be $1 million and the rate will be 55%, unless Congress acts to change the laws. For clients with large or complicated estates, we frequently project the estate tax burden and how certain techniques can be used to minimize estate taxes.

Fees

We generally quote a fixed fee for our estate planning services that is based upon your specific circumstances and desired plan. After our planning meeting, when we are informed of your specific situation and know the structure and terms of your plan, we will advise you in writing of the amount of the fixed fee to draft the documents and implement the plan. After the planning meeting, if we determine that no need exists to prepare documents, or you decide not to proceed with the project, we will invoice you based upon our standard hourly rate of $200 per hour for our consultation services, analysis, and preparation of the letter outlining the proposed plan.

A comprehensive estate planning project for a married couple generally falls within a range of $3,500 to $7,500. A comprehensive estate planning project for an unmarried person generally falls within a range of $1,500 to $5,000. An estate plan based upon a living (revocable) trust generally will be $1,000 to $2,000 more than the cost of the same plan based upon wills.

In many situations, we are asked to prepare various other types of trusts or to organize business type entities as components of an estate plan. The fees for those types of projects, including family limited partnerships, irrevocable life insurance trusts, limited liability companies, asset protection trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, etc. would be in addition to the general fee ranges described above.