Estate planning is one of life’s most personal matters. It requires frank conversations on nearly every part of life – finances, health, familial relationships, and more. Navigating these discussions and the subsequent decisions that follow requires more than a mastery of the law. It requires trust. We work hard to earn our client’s trust by ensuring they feel heard, understood, and respected from their first encounter with us. And we are pleased to work alongside your other trusted advisors to make sure your estate plan considers your other financial considerations.
Initial consultations are offered for one hour at $350. If you retain us, that fee will be applied toward the planning engagement. There will not be a fee for consultations recommended by advisors. We know that your time is valuable, and so is ours. So, we aim to accomplish a lot at our first meeting with you. We listen, ask targeted questions, suggest how to address your problems, decide how to move forward together, and try to answer all your questions.
If you are interested in our estate planning services, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We recommend that new clients complete an estate planning information form before the consultation. These forms will be discussed with you when making an appointment and can be mailed or e-mailed or you can complete them online on our website located under resources. Please mention your preferred meeting location – Rockville, Annapolis, Columbia, D.C., Tysons Corner, or Vienna. (Home appointments can be scheduled for an additional fee.) We will use both e-mail and phone to confirm your appointment in advance.
Please let us know if you or your referral are more comfortable speaking in a language other than English. We have team members who speak various languages.
In the best interest of all our clients, we have a cancellation policy. Some scheduling conflicts and emergencies cannot be avoided, and we will always do our best to accommodate rescheduling. However, with a handful of attorneys serving clients at five office locations, no-shows and/or last-minute cancellations greatly interfere with our ability to service our clients. If you cannot make it to your appointment, we kindly as that you contact us at least 24 hours in advance to cancel. Missed appointments or appointments canceled within 24 hours of the appointment may be charged a cancelation fee.
While we typically request 24 hours’ notice before canceling an appointment to have a healthy environment for our clients and our staff, we offer a one-time waiver of our cancellation fee in the event of illness. We ask that if you are sick (cold, flu, etc.) or have the onset of any symptoms of an illness (fever, persistent coughing, sneezing, etc.), you call us to reschedule. If you arrive for your appointment with symptoms of an illness, you will be asked to reschedule. Our Covid policies are on our website.
This is for your well-being and the health of our employees. While there are some estate matters that can be addressed only in person, if there are any pressing concerns, we can discuss them for you by phone or electronically, and we will do our best to do so. Meanwhile, we also want you to know that we take every precaution to maintain a clean and healthy office for those who visit. All surfaces are wiped down regularly throughout the day, we keep plenty of hand sanitizer in stock, and our team members work from home if they’re under the weather.
People like certainty in their lives and they don’t like unexpected bills from attorneys. While hourly rates are available, it is our normal practice to quote a flat fee for traditional estate planning. At the first meeting, we will discuss your situation and the nature of the work that needs to be done and give you an estimate of how long that may take. Then we will prepare a fee engagement letter that spells out the exact scope of the planning and the fee.
Some factors that determine project fees are the complexity of the project; the time it will take to complete your planning; the level of knowledge required; and the level of risk we assume by representing you. If the scope of the work should greatly change, or if you need more work not discussed at the initial meeting, we will discuss and prepare a fee agreement to cover the additional work.
When we act as a fiduciary (such as a trustee, guardian/conservator, or personal representative) we may sometimes charge a percentage fee. The fee will usually be a percentage of the value of the trust or estate we manage. Sometimes (usually involving will and trusts contests) we will discuss setting our fee as a percentage of the recovery for our clients. In these cases, we will not charge fees during the case but will collect a fee only if our client resolves his case to his or her satisfaction. We are happy to discuss the possibility of contingency fees in individual cases.
It is our belief that estate planning is a process, not a product. Once your documents have been executed, we don’t usher you out the door. We consider you clients for life. We are available for you today and will be. We try hard to stay in regular contact with you, reviewing your family’s needs whenever a law changes or a new planning strategy affects you. If we’ve done our job, we will continue to serve your family for generations to come.