The Estate Planning Process

Estate Planning Process with Lawyer

Estate planning is a complex and ongoing process, but the team at Smith Barid has a simple approach to help guide you every step of the way.  The main objective of our estate planning attorneys is to bring you a road map to navigate your Georgia-based estate plan and to meet your needs, goals, and budget so every client has the peace of mind they deserve. 

We’re with you every step of the way with client-centered guidance to help you maintain an updated and accurate estate plan.

Step 1: Schedule a Consultation

Reaching out is sometimes the hardest step to take. Check out our contact form and our intake coordinator will set up the initial meeting to help you get everything on track. 

Looking for more information before you get started? Learn about our experienced estate planning attorneys here, and find information on the estate planning tools available. 

Step 2: Fill Out Intake Form Documents

Once we’ve connected, we will send you a short and simple estate planning worksheet to assist you in gathering the information that will help the Smith Barid attorneys understand where you are at in the process, and if we would be the right fit for you. We like to take action and get things done, so we will also send you a proposed agenda so you have confidence in what to expect during the consultations

Step 3: Conduct the Initial Consultation

Generally, you can expect the initial consultation to take about an hour and a half. A Smith Barid attorney will consult with you to help determine what your needs are and what the best approach is to address your particular issues based on your needs and preferences and Georgia law.  We have set rates for fees so there are no surprises, we will discuss your options during this meeting to find what works best for your unique situation.  

Step 4:  Design Your Estate Plan

This phase is where many clients have reported being held up for months while working with other professionals. If you don’t have a completed estate plan, it may not be enforceable if something were to happen to you. That’s why, with our approach, we handle the design of the plan during the initial consultation.   This allows us to have your plan completed in around 30-45 days.

Your attorney will design a detailed and customized estate plan that addresses your unique needs and plans for your estate. When the design is completed and agreed upon, your attorney will quote a firm fee for the execution of the plan. During this meeting, we will then sign a fee agreement, collect the initial payment, and begin the process of creating your custom-designed Estate Plan.  Again, we want to get this completed in a timely manner for you, and generally, this part of the step will take 30 – 45 days.

Step 5: Review and Sign Your Estate Plan

We will contact you for the signing meeting. Set aside about 2 hours so we can review your estate plan together in detail to ensure all your questions are answered and you feel confident about all of the relevant parts of your estate plan.

Ongoing: Maintain Your Estate Plan

When you experience life changes, or there are changes to Georgia or Federal laws, it’s important that your estate plan changes to reflect your desires and needs.  We encourage our clients to call us when they have experienced a life change that will affect their trust.  We also check in with our clients every three years to ensure their plan is still up to date. We invite all clients to come into the office for a free consultation to discuss any changes to keep your estate plan accurate and effective.


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