You’ve got questions! And many of you ask the same ones, whether you are a potential client or have already become a client of the firm. Here are some answers we hope will help you out.
Q: Why does Matt only do estate planning in his practice?
A: Over the years Matt has learned to focus on his strengths and spend his time doing what he most loves to do. The world is getting more and more complicated. You don’t need someone who is just “okay” in several areas of the law. You need someone who is an expert in estate planning to protect and preserve what is most precious to you. Consider the difference between generalists and specialists in the field of medicine. You would not go see your family practitioner to treat you for lung cancer. You would go to an oncologist. Matt is a specialist in estate planning.
Q: Do I really have to tell you all that you ask for on the questionnaire? I just need a simple will.
A: What is a simple will? Yes, Matt really needs all of the information in order to best advise you how to protect and preserve your assets and those loved ones you care about. Your needs may be more complex than you realize. Matt will keep things as simple as possible, especially for those you leave behind.
Q: There are many things on the questionnaire that don’t apply to my situation. Do I just leave it blank?
A: If you are asking this question, Matt may not the attorney for you. He does comprehensive estate planning, and if you find yourself thinking “none of this applies to my situation”, then you may possibly need to find another attorney to help you. But, why not go ahead and complete the questionnaire, send it in for Matt to review? He’ll help determine if you’re ready to do estate planning with him.
Q: I’m not married, and I don’t have kids. I don’t really need a will, do I?
A: If you’re at least 18, you need a will. For example, consider this scenario: You are killed in a car accident. There’s a $2 million settlement of the case. Where is that money going to go? Wouldn’t you want it to go to your parents? Your charity of choice? We just completed a plan for an 18 year old. He now has a plan with agents to act for him medically and legally, if the need arises.
Q: I need a lawyer because someone is suing me. Will Matt take my case?
A: No. See the first question. You need a specialist in that area of litigation. Even if Matt did your estate plan, he doesn’t practice litigation.
Q: My parents are getting older, and I don’t think they have a will. What should I do?
A: Ask them! If they don’t have a plan, sit down with them and utilize our questionnaire to help gather all their information. Call our office to schedule an appointment. And if you’re not already a client here, become one yourself, so you can assure them first-hand of the peace of mind you gained from doing your own plan.
Q: Why can’t you tell me over the phone how much it’s going to cost me to get my will done?
A: Matt doesn’t know what you want or need, and neither do you, until you come in and discuss your particular situation. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? After you come in and learn your options, and decide what you want, Matt will quote a flat fee for the documents required to achieve your goals. Our clients are usually pleasantly surprised at our fees and accept them exclaiming, “That’s really reasonable. That’s less than I thought it’d be.” They usually say, “I never thought I could do this. I never knew my planning could be so powerful and affordable.”
Q: What does “estate planning” really mean? I thought I just needed a will.
A: A will is a tool used in estate planning. Estate planning is life planning. It’s a plan to protect and preserve you and those things that support you now, while you’re healthy, and later, when you may become incapacitated, and finally, upon your passing. A good plan survives you and carries out your dreams, your wishes, and your goals.
Q: Does Matt really know Dave Ramsey?
A: The last time Matt saw Dave, they hugged. Yes, Matt really knows Dave. It means a great deal to Matt and Lori that they got to personally share becoming debt-free with Dave. Dave Ramsey was in San Antonio the week that they paid off their mortgage, the last debt they owed. They were able to tell him, “We’re debt free!” just like you hear on his radio show, and Dave gave Lori a double high-five!
Q: If I need or want a second consultation, will I be charged for that?
A: No. Matt’s flat fee includes everything needed for you to be an informed, empowered principal of your estate plan. He does more than draft documents. He educates you so you know what to do with those documents.
Q: Say five years pass and I need to re-vamp something in my plan. What does that cost?
A: It depends upon how much re-vamping we are doing. Here’s what surprises most people: a good plan doesn’t have to change when you buy something or sell something, or the value of things change. Matt engineers your plan to survive those sorts of changes. Typically the only reason you’re going to want to change your plan is when you need to change one of the persons you’ve named to serve in some capacity. That is a simple word processing change. Matt’s been known to change a document or two at no charge. Sometimes a nominal fee is charged.
And finally, Lori’s most frequently asked question is:
Q: Do you know what Matt looks like without his mustache and beard?
A: Yes. Lori’s earliest memory of Matt dates back to 4th or 5th grade. He began growing the mustache while in law school, and he’s had it ever since.