We know that meeting with an attorney or financial planner and investment manager can be an intimidating experience. You are revealing a lot of personal and private information. We are mindful of that and have made a conscious effort to create a welcoming environment. Our office space is a 100+ year old home that still has the charm of the past, complete with the radiators that heat in winter and the squeaky sliding french doors to our conference room. You will not often find us in stuffy business suits, and we are not stuffy people.
Scheduling a meeting starts with either a call to our office or clicking on the book-a-call button on our website. Either way, you will typically hear first from Janel, who is our client services representative. She will walk you through the steps of scheduling a meeting and becoming a client. Janel gathers information on the phone to determine whether we provide the particular service you are looking for.
If Janel and the client agree it is appropriate to schedule an appointment, one gets scheduled. Janel sends out an appointment confirmation letter with any instructions about the meeting. For example, if the appointment is about estate planning, we have a questionnaire that we send to gather pertinent information. Most of our clients prefer in-person meetings, but we can also meet by video conference or phone.
If it’s an appointment regarding estate planning, we usually dig right in to learning about the important people in the client’s life and the client’s goals with respect to their assets. We ask about any special circumstances that might exist, such as if there are minor children or disabled persons who might be affected by the client’s incapacity or death. Typically by the end of the initial meeting, we have identified the proper structure of all of the estate planning documents that should be implemented, such as a will or trust, power of attorney and advance medical directive. We ask questions that sometimes make clients uncomfortable such what their wishes are for life support in the event they are suddenly in a persistent vegetative state. At the conclusion of the meeting, we schedule a return appointment for the client, and at the return meeting, we will have all of the documents ready for the client to review. The client typically has enough time to review the documents, ask questions, make edits, and sign the documents at the second meeting. If two meetings is not enough, we simply schedule a follow up meeting. The client pays an initial consultation fee of $250, and a flat fee for the preparation of the estate planning documents.
If it’s an appointment for financial planning or investment management, the initial consultation is more of a get-to-know-you meeting where David teases out the client’s financial goals and describes his financial planning process and the strategies he employs for investment management. There is no initial consultation fee. After the meeting, David and the client will determine whether to proceed further, and if so, we will ask the client for the personal and financial information we need to proceed.
All information our clients provide to us are kept in confidence.