Q: When will I receive drafts?
A: We do provide drafts for those clients who request to see the documents before signing. We understand that many of our clients are highly invested in the details of these documents and want the opportunity to evaluate the wording and ensure accuracy. Drafts that are watermarked and do not contain the signature page can be provided electronically prior to the signing. Ready-to-sign drafts can be provided electronically after final payment is made.
Q: Can I get a draft before the explanation meeting?
A: We have experimented with the timing of this quite a bit. Our experience shows that reviewing the documents with our clients first and then sending them the drafts has gone much smoother than when we have sent drafts to clients without giving them prior guidance. As hard as we work to make these documents accessible to people who are not lawyers, this area of law is governed by complex property law, tax law, state statutes, federal codes, and common law cases. During the explanation meeting, we provide our clients an overview of the documents and instructions on where to focus attention during the review. This also provides our clients the opportunity to ask us follow up questions as they encounter each provision, and often eliminates confusion during the private review.
Q: How much time will I have to review the drafts?
A: For most plans, a day or two is enough to go through the documents. During the explanation, we discuss the Powers of Attorney and Living Will in such detail that very few clients have requested changes to those documents. Most of the time, our clients find a spelling error in someone’s name or a wrong birthdate, but nothing more substantial. Our policy is to allow 5-7 days between the Explanation and Signing to provide our clients time to review the documents and communicate the changes, then allow us to amend the documents and prepare them for signing. In addition to the time between the explanation meeting and the signing meeting, your executed documents will come with a letter confirming our policy to make changes to your documents for free for up to six weeks after you sign them.
Q: What happens if I find an error after I’ve signed?
A: We are human and, since we customize each plan to our clients’ specifications, there is always the chance we will make an error. If you find anything that needs to be changed in your plan, just alert us to the error and we will fix it for free. Usually, it is possible to reprint the corrected page and mail it to you. This is how we fix what’s known as a “scrivener’s error” (a typo that no one caught, for instance.) For larger errors, such as miscommunications or technological glitches, we can reprint the documents or provide an amendment or codicil as the client prefers.
Our firm’s reputation is based on good communication. Our job is not only to create a well-written plan that works to achieve our clients’ goals, but also ensure that our clients understand what the plan does, how it works, and what more needs to happen for it to work seamlessly with other components of the estate (such as business entities, retirement accounts, etc.) We are always open to questions from our clients, at any time.