For Families

forfamiliesimageBy now you’ve seen that GP Schoemakers, PLLC is something special and because you love your family, you know your family deserves the kind of protection, guidance and love we provide for a lifetime. It’s important that you know how we work because we do things a bit differently here than at other law firms. That’s why our clients love us so much.

Schedule Your Personal Family Wealth Planning Session

Call our office at (832) 408-0505 to schedule your personal Family Wealth Planning Session and ask to speak with our Client Services Director. She will schedule the most convenient appointment time available for you with Gratia our expertly trained Personal Family & Business Lawyer™. We see clients from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Friday and by appointment only.

When you schedule your personal Family Wealth Planning Session, we block 2 hours on our calendar so we can focus entirely on you and your family during this time.  We will send you a package of information to complete before our time together, which will help you begin the process of getting your legal and financial life in order.  During our meeting together, we will guide you to gently look at what would happen for your loved ones and with your assets if something were to happen to you.  And then, we’ll look at what you want to happen and help you create a roadmap to get that plan in place as easily as possible.  Clients routinely say “wow, if we had known how easy this would be, we would have done it years ago!” after meeting with us.

All Family Wealth Planning Sessions need to be paid in full at time of scheduling if you must cancel within 1 week of your appointment, and you fail to reschedule your appointment within 30 days of your cancellation. If you cannot keep your appointment and you choose not to reschedule, your will be charged the full planning fee due to the work we put in prior to each personal Family Wealth Planning Session.

We understand that this policy of securing your appointment with a credit card may seem unique. So is our law firm. We provide our very best service to those families who are looking for a long-term relationship with their trusted advisor. We expend most of our energy providing an exceedingly high degree of service to our existing clients and limit the number of new clients we see each week. We only take referrals from trusted Professional Planning Partners. As a result, we must secure your appointment time so that if something comes up and you can’t attend your appointment, we will have enough advance notice to open the slot to a waiting family.

What to Do Prior to Your Personal Family Wealth Planning Session

About 3 days after scheduling your appointment, you will receive a Mailer with your Family Wealth Inventory & Assessment and other important information that you will want to review prior to your personal Family Wealth Planning Session. We must have your Family Wealth Inventory & Assessment returned to our office 3 days prior to your Session either by mail, fax or electronic mail or we will need to reschedule your Session. Feel free to call the office at any time if you need assistance completing your worksheet or have any questions at all.

If you have existing estate planning documents, please call our office to schedule an Estate Plan Review Session, and make sure that we have your existing documents in our office at least two weeks before your meeting so that we can review them prior to meeting with you.

What to Expect the Day of Your Personal Family Wealth Planning Session

On the day of your meeting, please expect to spend up to 2 hours with your attorney. The initial meeting with your attorney has two purposes:

To identify whether there is a good fit between you and the attorney who will become your Personal Family & Business Lawyer™ and…

To educate you about the law and what would happen if you died with your current (or no) plan in place.

By looking at what would happen under your current plan, you can identify what you would want to happen differently and then together with your Personal Family & Business Lawyer™’s guidance make the decisions that are necessary to give you the peace of mind of knowing your family would be taken care of in the way you want if something happened to you.

Assuming that you and your attorney determine that there is a good fit between our firm and your family AND that you identify specific ways you would want things to happen that are different than what would happen if something happened to you, you and your Personal Family Lawyer or Family Business Lawyer can design a plan for your family right away.

What Happens Next?

Once you and your Personal Family & Business Lawyer™ have completed the design of your plan, you will meet with our plan coordinator who will review your assets for the purpose of ensuring that everything you own will be titled for maximum protection and then schedule a meeting for you to sign your planning documents approximately 4 weeks later.

We have a process of reviewing your documents with you that makes your plan so easy to understand that you will know for certain that we understood exactly the way you want things to happen when something happens to you and that your loved ones will be in excellent hands with our firm. Once you sign your planning documents, your assets and your family are protected as discussed during your design meeting.

We see that as only the beginning of our relationship. You may make changes to your planning documents at no charge for up to 90 days after you sign your documents.

At our final meeting during the planning stage of our relationship, we verify that all of your asset transfers are moving forward on track whether we are taking the lead or you are taking the lead with our guidance. We review your asset spreadsheet with you and ensure all of your questions are answered. Of course, if they aren’t or they become cloudy later on, we are always available to answer your questions at any time in the future. And, there’s no charge for that.

Our Planning Process

We know, beginning your estate plan is a big step.  So our process is designed to ensure your confidence in the planning process each step of the way.  Every decision is carefully reviewed with you and yet the entire process doesn’t stretch out beyond 8 weeks, so you know that within a single month after meeting with a GP Schoemakers, PLLC Personal Family & Business Lawyer™, your family could be totally protected.

It’s the perfect combination of efficiency and warmth.

The planning process itself begins with an initial meeting that is an opportunity for you to meet with us, so we can each can determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm.

During this initial meeting, we will walk you through exactly what your loved ones would have to do and where your assets would go if something happened to you.

You will then be able to determine if there was anything about your current plan (or the state’s plan for you) that you wouldn’t like and you’ll get clear on what you would want to happen if something happened to you.

Assuming there is a good fit between you and our firm, we will help you to choose the planning level and fee that is right for your family and you and Gratia will then design a plan that will give you the peace of mind of knowing your family will be taken care of in the event the unthinkable happens.

Sometimes, depending on the level of planning you choose and the complexity of your situation, a second design meeting is needed or a Whole Family Wealth Audit meeting is offered to review your more complex financial matters.

Once your plan has been designed to your satisfaction, you will return to our office about 4-6 weeks later to sign your planning documents.  At this point, your family and your assets will be totally protected in the case of your death or incapacity.

In most law firms, the relationship ends there.

But we see the signing of these documents as the beginning of our relationship with your family. This is where our law firm is very different.

After you sign your legal documents, we don’t just send you on your way and wish you luck for the future.  Instead, we create an electronic record of all of your legal documents so you can easily access them anytime you need to in the future and then schedule a legacy meeting with you.  This is one of the most important meetings of our process because it’s where we:

  1. ensure your assets are all owned in the right way (you can have the best set of legal documents, but if your assets are not owned in the right way, it’s all been a waste);
  2. make sure everyone you’ve named to take care of your kids, the money you are leaving behind or you if you cannot care of yourself knows just what to do, if and when something happens;
  3. capture and plan for your intangible assets – the values, insights, stories, and experiences – you would never want lost.

And this is where we make sure you understand everything we’ve put in place for you and your family.

Then, we still aren’t done!

We meet with you at least every three years to review your plan and make sure it stays up to date.  If that’s not included in the planning you are doing, the set of documents you get are very unlikely to work when your family needs them.