What is Client Directed Estate Planning?

Hi, I’m Marc Herbert, founder of Herbert Law Office, with this week’s Question of the Week. One of the questions I’ve been getting a lot lately is what is client directed estate planning? Now, that’s a phrase you’ll hear in my webinars. And when we sit down one on one. Client Directed estate planning. And that’s really the approach that we’ve developed here at Herbert Law Office, where the client controls the process.

We focus on answering questions as we go step by step. And that’s really been sort of the guiding principle in my legal career. So it’s a philosophy that actually is based on my prior career that I had between college and law school. I worked for about six and a half years with disabled adults down in the San Fernando Valley.

And so we had 42 clients, all of them different people, different strengths, different challenges. So I was trained to find out exactly what my client’s current situation was, what options were available to them, and then they would choose the options they liked best. And that’s how we would build their unique program. So really, the client directed the individual program based on their goals and their needs, which we would monitor over time to make sure that the plan still worked for the client.

Now, when I finished law school and passed the bar in 1995, came up to the Antelope Valley and began working for an attorney with the exact opposite approach. He was very attorney directed. You tended to control the process, and clients would often leave the office with a large number of documents that they didn’t fully understand. After a couple of years, I left that office and worked for another office that was very client directed, but their challenge was billable hours, which a lot of attorneys do.

But the downside when it comes to estate planning is the more questions you ask on billable hours, the more you pay. And every month you’d receive a bill. And and sometimes there was a large bill surprise that was very challenging for a lot of clients. So when I started my own office in 2001, it was based on two very simple principles.

Rule number one, the client is in charge and the client directs the entire estate planning process. Rule number two, based on the options chosen by the client, that determines a flat fee. So nobody has to worry about asking questions. Nobody has to worry about surprise monthly bills. Everything is customized to do exactly what you want, and it’s all built within that flat fee.

When you visit Herbert Law office, we offer a free consultation where we can sit down and talk about your current financial situation. We can talk about the options available. Answer all your questions as we go, and then you choose the options that work best for you and for your family. Then, based on those options, there will be a flat fee discussed.

Although we do offer a lot of discounts for veterans, first responders, teachers, medical staff. So the whole goal is really to protect your family and your wealth from probate court and unnecessary taxes. And we do that in a simple and efficient five step process. But again, all the documents are created at your direction. Everything is customized for your unique family structure, asset structure and goals.

So client directed estate planning enables us to build most plans within 30 to 45 days. And again, answer all your questions every step of the way as we go. If you have any questions about this information, feel free to click the link below to schedule a 50 minute phone appointment or just give us a call at 6612739007. If you have a family member or friend who might find this information helpful, feel free to forward it to them.

Thanks a lot. Have a great day.