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Costs and Timing

If you, like many folks, have been thinking about creating an estate plan but haven't yet initiated one, you may have some basic logistical questions about the process.  Below are some answers to some of the most common questions. 
How long does it take to create an estate plan?
There are many important decisions that go into planning your estate:  Who would I trust to take care of my children? How should my assets be distributed? Who should I ask to carry out my wishes? These decisions require a great deal of thought and mindful conversation, and they can be difficult to make on an emotional level.   The time that a client needs to make these decisions is very personal and is the key driver of the timeframe. 
However, as a frame of reference, after working with many clients in many situations over the years, we have developed a 60-Day Plan for guiding our clients through this process.   The 60-Day Plan begins with our first meeting, when we engage in a discussion of your goals and answer your initial questions about roles and responsibilities.  You will receive drafts of your planning documents to review at points through the process, and we will work together to refine your plan along the way as your goals come into greater focus.  At the end of the 60 days, you will receive your original signed and notarized estate plan documents and a portfolio containing readily accessible copies for your reference and to recopy and distribute as you wish. 
Of course, the process could take more or less than 60 days, depending on your situation.  A simple will for a very decisive client, for example, can be turned around in a much shorter timeframe, and we can of course work with clients who would like to move through the process more quickly or more slowly.  We have found, though, that the 60-Day Plan helps most of our clients work through their decisions in the most thoughtful, yet efficient, way possible. 
How much does it cost?
Our initial one-hour meeting is complimentary.  After we discuss your goals and develop a plan, you will receive a flat fee quote based on how simple or complex your plan would be to prepare.  As a general frame of reference, you can expect a simple will for a single person to cost about $600 to prepare, while a more comprehensive plan for a married couple, including two wills, individual trusts, powers of attorney for health and finances, as well as a "quit claim deed", would cost about $2000.  Costs for more advanced estate planning instruments and complex family or financial situations might be higher, but you would receive a flat fee quote in advance, at which point you can decide whether or not to proceed. 
How do I start?
Call our office at 847-234-0099 to set up your initial meeting.  Before our meeting, we will send you an estate planning worksheet to help you frame the decisions that you will need to make, as well as an outline of the 60-Day Plan. 

The process of planning your estate to ensure your loved ones' security takes some time, but the peace of mind that comes with our thoughtful approach is well worth the effort.   

The Time Has Come: New Real Estate Closing Procedures

If you are a real estate agent, mortgage lender, or title agent, you have heard a lot about the new TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule that will become effective on October 3, 2015.  The intent of the new rule is to protect consumers who borrow money to purchase a home by, among other attributes of the new rules, giving them more time prior to closing to review all of the costs associated with the loans.  

As a result of the new rule, there will be new processes in place for real estate closings on homes for which loans are applied after October 3.  Any closings on homes for which a loan applications were filed prior to October 3 will not be required to adhere to the new protocols. 
As you might imagine, implementing the new rules requires coordination among many entities: lenders, real estate agents, title companies, attorneys, and, of course, home buyers.  There will be a significant learning curve across the entire real estate industry.  

At Pierson & Strachan, we are ready to hit the ground running on Day 1 of the new rules implementation.  We have undertaken hours of professional training and consistently maintain a nimble approach to our internal operations, enabling us to adapt quickly to changes in the industry.  

We will be advising our clients to be as patient and flexible as possible with regard to the timing of their upcoming real estate transactions. Experience tells us that there will likely be delays associated with closings in the wake of the new rules, particularly on the part of mortgage lenders, for whom the new rules require the heaviest burden to adapt.  We will continue to take very proactive approach to communications among all interested parties so that we minimize surprises and facilitate a smooth closing process for our clients.


Estate Planning Process: