After many years of working in the “traditional” legal world, I found a better way to serve our clients. Service that clients want and appreciate. We have put together our own unique Legal Planning for your Estate and Business Planning needs.
To explain how working with Northwest Legal Planning is different, it requires an explanation of the “traditional” experience working with an estate planning lawyer. Many lawyers, like the public at large, believe that the backbone to proper planning is a good set of documents. Documents like wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc. However, the backbone to proper planning is understanding the desired results. Documents are tools we use to obtain those desired results.
Let's examine the "traditional" experience working with an estate planning attorney. If you have worked with a lawyer to create an estate plan in the past, this example will be familiar to you.
In the “traditional” experience, you will meet with a lawyer who oftentimes make things seem very complicated and confusing. You will believe that the lawyer is smart and seems to know what they are doing. You will nod and answer questions, as if you understand everything. Because you want to do the right thing for your family, you will have the lawyer prepare documents for you and you will sign the documents, feeling relieved that you have got that taken care of.
You will take your document home, stick them on a shelf or in a drawer. You will mark estate planning off on your checklist and never think about it again.
You might remember your lawyer said something about moving your bank accounts into the trust. So you will go to the bank, forget what you were supposed to do, call your lawyer’s office, get a voicemail, have to leave the bank and wait for a call back, (which takes several hours at least and sometimes days) and by that time, you will have gotten busy with other things and never get around to moving that bank account. A few weeks later, a bill arrives in the mail for $50.00 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions. You then remind yourself - don’t call lawyer ever again.
Years later, you refinance your house or sell it and buy a new one and forget that you were supposed to let your lawyer know or make sure you kept the title in the name of the trust. Your children will get older, making your guardianship choices outdated, but you don’t want to call your lawyer because you know you will get a bill in the mail two weeks later. You might hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure surely your lawyer would contact you if it was something that affected you, so you don’t worry about it.
Not until you become incapacitated or die, and your family finds your documents tucked away, that they realize your plan is outdated and has nothing to do with your life, your assets and the law. Your family is at a loss. They do not know where to turn or what to do, so they contact the same lawyer you used to prepare the documents, who is as happy as can be to probate your assets, which never made it into the trust. A probate that your documents were supposed to protect your family from.
How do I know all this? Because I have seen clients come in to see me who have had this exact experience.
The “traditional” way of doing things was designed to serve those preparing for death.
What makes Northwest Legal Planning different is that we were built to serve our clients throughout their lives. We understand you are busy, you are growing, you are planning for a life of prosperity and you value ease, convenience and efficiency. You want to know you’ve made the best decisions for your family and that your plan will work when your loved ones need it most. You want to make sure your children are taken care of in the best way possible and are prepared to receive your wealth if anything happens to you.
That is why Northwest Legal Planning exists; not to sell you documents, but to help you have peace of mind. We want our clients to know that they have a trusted advisor to contact. We strive to give you the same access to a trusted lawyer and counselor previously only available to the "rich."
We encourage communication with our clients. We don't bill by the hour. Everything we do is billed as a flat-fee, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprise bills.
By participating in one of our membership programs you will keep your plan up to date year in and year out as well as have access to us for guidance on ANY legal or financial matter. One day you will need a lawyer. I don’t know why and I don’t know when, but when you do, you will be grateful you can call on us and we’ll be here to advise you or get you out of a jam.
Finally, we don't just plan for transfer of your assets. We work with our clients to also transfer their Intellectual assets, Spiritual assets and Values. "Traditional" plans are only designed to transfer your financial wealth.
Please contact us today to learn how you can begin protecting your family!
Let's examine the "traditional" experience working with an "business law" attorney. If you have worked with a business lawyer in the past, this example will be familiar to you.
In the “traditional” experience, there are generally two times that businesses engage an attorney.
Formation Of The Business
Many entrepreneurs believe they are starting their business off the right way by engaging an attorney to prepare and file their formation documents. Typically an entrepreneur will contact an attorney and ask for a specific type of company be formed…a limited liability company, a s-corp, etc. The attorney is more than happy to form the business requested for a fee.
The entrepreneur will give the attorney a name for the company and other basic information (shareholders, members, address, etc.). A few days or weeks later the entrepreneur meets with the attorney to sign some forms for filing with the state. Then after the forms are filed the entrepreneur is presented with an official looking binder and they have their new company.
That is generally where the representation stops. Sometimes the attorney will offer to at as the new companies registered agent, hoping when the company is served with a lawsuit that attorney will represent the company in that lawsuit.
Which brings us to the second most common time businesses will engage an attorney.
When a business is sued they grit their teeth and make the dreaded call to an attorney. Businesses will “shop” around for the best price, not the best representation. They didn’t like attorneys before, now after months of getting billed in 6-minute increments for a "frivolous" lawsuit they really don’t like attorneys. At the end of the case, win or lose, the business is not happy. Win or lose, you never get back your time and effort put into the litigation.
I know this because I have represented dozens of businesses that have had these same experiences with attorneys.
The “traditional” way of doing things is reactionary not proactive.
We are not a litigation firm. We’ve been there and done that. We know that litigation is not 100% avoidable, but we strive to help our client do just that. We work with our business clients on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to make those decisions least likely to lead to costly lawsuits.
We do this by creating a relationship with our clients that allows for easy access to an attorney, a business's “general counsel” you could say. From formation, operation, and dissolution, we are with our business clients every step of the way.
We counsel our clients every step of the way in their businesses. Our counsel includes contract review (if you are entering into contracts without having your attorney review, you are doing you and your business a disservice), insurance audits, annual reporting, licensing and permitting review, etc. There is more to your business attorney than you realized.
What’s great, is that we offer our services on a flat fee agreed to in advance. Our business clients never get an unexpected bill in the mail.
Each year, to a limited number of business, we offer yearly "General Counsel" representation giving your business access to a trusted business lawyer and advisor. These "General Counsel" relationships include: unlimited contract reviews, unlimited questions by e-mail, unlimited telephone consultations (scheduled by e-mail), quarterly or semi-annual face to face Your Business Summits, annual reports/registration/compliance, and many other unique benefits.
Please contact us today to make sure your business is firing on all cylinders!
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