Harsh truth: Eventually, you will die, and someone will have to deal with it. Schedule your free, no-obligation consult call now or keep reading to see how estate planning works. Whether you have an “estate” or just some “stuff,” having a plan in place will make it easier for those left behind.
Schedule a call with Strohmeyer Law.
You’ve probably thought about getting a will for several reasons:
- It seems like the responsible thing to do (“adulting”)
- You want to take care of your kids
- You want to head off a family feud after you’re gone
- Or maybe you just want your financial advisor to stop hassling you
And it’s possible that you simply yearn for a lawyer to draft a pile of documents for you, gussied up with a light sprinkling of shalls, hereinafters, and aforesaids (though I’ve yet to meet that client).
In truth, the most important reason to spend your time, effort, and money on estate planning is to answer one simple question: When I die, what happens to my stuff?
Estate planning is your chance to answer questions for those left behind.
In the 10+ years I’ve been helping families, I’ve seen a range of requests, from the straightforward (“everything goes to my spouse, otherwise to my kids”) to the more complicated (benefiting one child more than another, deciding who gets Grandpa’s stamp collection or Gramma’s favorite teapot, or deciding which doctors to consult before making medical decisions).
But despite the wide range of requests, there’s one I’ve never received…
Nobody’s ever asked me to help them leave a mess behind.
When you die, your loved ones will be faced with winding up your affairs—and you won’t be around to help them. To add insult to injury, on top of dealing with the emotional fallout of your death, your loved ones must also pick up the pieces of your life. Can you imagine how hard that will be?
- Do they know what banks you use?
- Do they know if you have a Last Will?
- Can they find your computer and successfully log in?
- Can they find and decipher your files?
- Do they know your usernames and passwords?
- Will they know how to open the safe?
- Will they know that you have a bank account at that one little bank you opened in college three states away
- but never got around to closing?
- Now that you’re gone, and you’re not maintaining the peace, will long-dormant fights finally boil over?
Even in the best of circumstances, this is a tough process, but—fortunately for you—it’s possible to make it easier for your loved ones to manage.
My team and I are here to reduce the stress on them later by working with you now.
We’ll help you answer all the questions (and think of those you might forget), so that the answers are easy to find when you’re gone.
We’ll create an orderly roadmap for your loved ones, so they know what to do and when to do it. We’ll help identify potential storm clouds on the horizon, like changes in the tax laws, or potential sources of simmering resentment among your beneficiaries.
Our job is to help reduce your family’s stress, so they can focus on the important things and move forward more easily.
Want more answers without reading?
Visit our YouTube channel for more matter-of-fact legal explanations.
Three steps to peace of mind
No family squabbles, power grabs, or dramatic graveside revelations necessary.
Whether you’ve already considered your estate planning needs or you prefer to bury your metaphorical head in the sand before your actual burial—now is the best time to map out precisely what should happen to your assets, businesses, and affairs for when you eventually shuffle off this mortal coil.
We’ve laid out a three-step process to take you through the preparations and paperwork you’ll need to give yourself and your family peace of mind.
Step 1: Free consultation
During this quick, informative, 30-minute call, we’ll discuss the basics of estate planning, determine if we’re the right firm for you and your family, and outline possible planning options.
Depending on your age, family situation, and employment, you’ll need different guidance when planning your estate. While we work with clients in all situations, here are the most common types of clients who we work with.
Which client are you?
(If you don’t fit *all* of the items in a category, pick the option that feels the closest.)
At this stage, you’re just looking to cover your bases.
- Your kids are young, you’re working for somebody else, and you don’t have significant investment income.
- Your parents are still more than capable of taking care of themselves.
- You’re not making significant gifts.
- You probably have a financial advisor but may still do your own taxes.
- While you may be considering doing this yourself, you’d appreciate the extra set of hands to make sure it gets done now.
Click to schedule your free 30-minute consult call.
Folks at this stage may be managing three generations: your parents, your children, and yourself.
- Your kids are somewhere between first-year high school students and college graduates, growing up and moving out.
- Your parents have been retired for years.
- You may still be working. If you are, you’re near the top of your company, and you may even own a piece of it.
- You have a healthy financial advisory team at this point—a financial advisor, a banker, and a CPA all help you make the best decisions.
Click to schedule your free 30-minute consult call.
Planning for people age 55 and above.
- Your children are likely married.
- At this point, you’ve likely amassed significant wealth, and you’re probably not working anymore.
- You probably have specific gifts that you’d want to make that leave a specific legacy.
- Many of your financial concerns probably revolve around relationships and unresolved family issues.
- You have a healthy financial advisory team, but having more control over your legal and financial future would bring you enormous peace of mind.
Click to schedule your free 30-minute consult call.
“I don’t need anything complicated…”
Don’t think you fit into any of the above categories? Do you want a “simple will” (one that’s short, to the point, and lets people get on with the business of remembering you fondly)?
Trust me. You’re not really looking for a “simple will,” or another type of static document.
I know you don’t care if you get a Last Will, a Living Trust, or a singing bush that tells you how to divide your estate, but I’m certain you do care about making your death easier for those you love. (Plus, who knows if that singing bush has passed the Texas Bar Exam?)
What you want is an end-of-life solution—and that’s what we’ll give you. Book your consultation call now:
Step 2: Paid strategy session
Once you decide to move forward with Strohmeyer Law, we’ll set up a paid strategy session.
Before our session, we’ll send you an informational packet (about 15 pages) to read. If you read it, our strategy session can be as short as 45 minutes. If you don’t read it, please allow up to 3 hours for John to lecture you on the basics of the law. (Surprisingly, most clients prefer the shorter, more focused meeting —but we’re happy to sit down with you for either.)
You’ll walk away from this strategy session with a clear outline of the specific documents you need in your estate plan, plus who inherits what and when.
We’ll help you identify any planning issues and gaps (and answer the question “If I do nothing, what happens?”). We’ll also provide you with at least three options for your estate plan.
We’ll also determine your Estate Score™. This is our proprietary 0 to 100-point scoring system to help you understand your planning, what you may already have taken care of, and what needs to be done to reduce the potential mess your current plan might create. Especially if we work together in the longer term, this scoring system will help you understand where you started, and what we achieve year by year. (Regardless, in a world of nebulous legalese, this scoring system is helpful to know exactly where you stand.)
At this point, you could take your outline to any lawyer you want, or even draft your documents to complete your planning. Of course, we’d be happy to draft your documents for you as a logical next step! The point is, you don’t have to hire us to complete your planning (though we hope you do).
Step 3: Draft & sign your documents
If you choose Strohmeyer Law to complete your planning, we’ll be honored. With your detailed estate plan outline in hand, we’ll draft your documents for you to review and sign.
To make the review and adjustment process easier, instead of asking you to read through the documents themselves (which tend to be about as long as Moby Dick and just as boring), we’ve created a chart-based system. You’ll be able to review the details of your estate plan, adjust details, and tweak to your heart’s content—all without lugging around a suitcase full of printed pages.
Next, using your approved charts, we’ll draft your documents. (Unfortunately, you do have to read these to ensure everything’s just right. But at least we cut down on the back-and-forth!)
Finally, you’ll sign your documents to make them official. This is the point at which a giant, invisible weight will lift from your shoulders, and you’ll feel like having a beer.
Step 3+: We’re here to update your documents whenever you need
It would be nice if nothing changed starting from the moment you signed your documents—but, as it turns out, life continues to happen.
That’s why we’re here to help update your beneficiary designations as needed, so they stay aligned with your plan.
Expecting a lot of changes? We have a subscription program for clients with ongoing needs.
But not everyone needs that, so we have a free option for clients to schedule a 10-minute “office hours” call with quick questions as they come up. There’s no charge for these calls.
And that’s it! There’s perhaps no better feeling than knowing that—no matter what happens today, tomorrow, or 30 years from now—your family and their future are taken care of.
Reasons to call us immediately
👶 Someone was born!
💀 Someone died.
💒 Someone got married!
👮 Someone had an unrequested interaction with the police
🤔 Someone’s not quite all there
Scheduling that works for your actual life
We realize that scheduling an office meeting isn’t always convenient on top of your already full schedule. For that reason, we’re available on a limited basis during evenings and weekends to meet with you.
Please also feel free to bring your children to meetings if that makes it easier for you.