Why Hire a Personal Family Lawyer Advisor?
Call the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC for Effective Legal Services
Explaining to you how we’re different requires an explanation of what the “traditional” experience with a lawyer is like. If you’ve worked with a lawyer to prepare estate planning documents for you in the past, this will sound familiar.
During the traditional experience, you’ll go in and meet with a lawyer who will oftentimes make things seem very complicated and confusing. You’ll have a good idea that the lawyer is smart and seems to know what they are doing, so you’ll nod and answer questions, as if you understand everything. Since you want to do the right thing for your family, you’ll have the lawyer prepare documents for you, and you’ll sign the documents, feeling relieved that you’ve been taken care of.
You’ll take your fancy planning binder home, stick it on a shelf or in a drawer, mark estate planning off on your checklist as DONE, and never think about it again.
You might remember your lawyer said something about moving your bank accounts into the trust. So you’ll 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’ll have gotten busy with other things and never get around to moving that bank account.
A few weeks later, you’ll get a bill in the mail for $67.50 for 15 minutes of your lawyer’s time for answering a couple of questions. You’ll make a mental note–don’t call the lawyer ever again.
Several years later, you’ll 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Your children will get older, making your guardianship choices outdated, but you don’t want to call your lawyer because you know you’ll get a bill in the mail two weeks later.
You’ll hear something about a change in the tax law, but you figure you’d surely get a letter in the mail from your lawyer if it was something that affected you, so you don’t worry about it. Also, you’d have to dig through boxes to find your trust documents so you could remember your lawyer’s name and find his contact information. Who has time for that?
It’s not until you become incapacitated or die and your family finds the binder you stuck up on a shelf several years before and never looked at again that they’ll realize your plan is so outdated that it has nothing to do with your life, your assets, and the law.
Your family is at a loss. They don’t 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.
Unfortunately, the estate planning industry was not designed to serve growing families who experience lots of change on their way to success. It was designed to serve 70- and 80-year-olds who were preparing for death.
Our Firm Helps You Prepare for Life
What makes our firm different is that we were built with the needs of growing
families in mind. 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 would be taken care of in the
best way possible and will be prepared to receive your wealth if anything
happens to you.
That is our focus as well. We’ve developed unique systems to give you the same access to a personal family lawyer as was previously only available to the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Sam Walton, so you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and wealth.
We encourage communication with our clients. In fact, we’ve thrown
out the time clocks so you never have to be afraid to call with a quick
question. Everything we do is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in
advance, so there are never any surprises.
We have a whole team to serve you. When you call our office to ask your quick question, you won’t have to wait hours or days for a phone call back. You’ll get your question answered, right away. Also, if you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with your personal lawyer, a call will be scheduled when you're both available and ready for the call so we can make the very best use of your time and not waste your time by leaving voicemail after voicemail back and forth.
Furthermore, we ensure the most important details of your planning are followed through on and your plan continues to work throughout your lifetime.
We have a “funding coordinator” to ensure your assets are protected throughout your lifetime and none of your assets will end up going through a long, expensive court process or being lost to the state because they were missed after your death.
We’ve created unique membership programs to keep your plan up-to-date year in and year out, as well as give you access to our trusted team of legal experts for guidance on any legal or financial matter. One day you will need a lawyer. We don’t know why and we 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.
Lastly, we believe your financial wealth is only a small part of your overall “family wealth,” which is made up of your far-more-valuable intellectual, spiritual, and human assets – essentially, who you are and what’s important to you.
Most estate plans are only able to transfer your financial wealth onto the next generation. The intangible nature of your much greater wealth has made it difficult to capture, and it is most often lost when someone passes. How much do you know about your grandparents’ values? Their most prized personal possessions? How they felt about you? What they had learned during their lifetime?
If you are like most people, you know very little. But, the wealthiest families capture these assets and pass them along right with their financial wealth. That’s part of the reason the rich keep getting richer.
We’ve developed a tool that allows us to pass on your whole family wealth, including your intellectual, spiritual, and human assets. We can’t go into all of the details here, but we’ll definitely talk about it when you come in to meet with your personal family lawyer.
We look forward to seeing you and caring for your family soon!
P.S. If you think this all sounds expensive, well, you are right and you’re wrong. We can guarantee you that if you qualify to meet with a Personal Family Lawyer®, planning is substantially less costly than it would be for your family if you died with a plan that didn’t work or if you didn’t have a plan in place at all. Also, we’ve never had a single family who believed in this kind of planning and wanted to put it in place for their loved ones leave our office because they couldn’t afford it. We’ve made creative financing available to our clients because we know that this planning is the foundation for a life of success!
Our firm believes in personalized service for each and every client. Our approach is educational and proactive – we first determine each client’s individual needs, desires, and values, and we then tailor their plan to best fulfill their dreams.
We represent families throughout varying stages of life, including:
- Traditional two-parent families or single parents wishing to provide for and protect their children and themselves
- Unmarried couples who are either solidifying their relationship through proper planning or dissolving their relationship with the assistance of caring counsel
- Blended families negotiating the challenges of creating new relationships with varying expectations
- High-net-worth families seeking strategies for minimizing estate and income taxes
- Family-business owners seeking ways to protect and expand their companies and considering how and when to transition to the next generation of ownership
- Estate executors and beneficiaries navigating the court process of probate administration
- Family members or trustees carrying out the legacy left behind through a trust administration
With each of our estate plans, we include a no-charge three-year review to ensure that as our clients’ lives change, so do their estate plans, and we ensure that all our clients' assets are held properly for maximum protection. Also, we have annual membership programs for clients who desire even more service. Whether you participate in one of our membership programs or not, we keep all of our clients updated about changes in the law and issues that might affect their lives.
In addition, we advise clients regarding relationship nuptial agreements, perform reviews of existing plans that may be out of date, and handle all aspects of administration after the death of a loved one. Also, we keep our clients' corporate records up-to-date so that they have the maximum protection from personal liability that a corporation can provide.
Our clients benefit from the care we offer the whole family, ranging from free estate checkups to basic planning documents for young adult children. Become part of our client family and feel how much we care.
Planning for Life
Our Family Wealth VIP Membership programs are part of what sets us apart and allows us to care for you and your family throughout all life's stages.
At most estate planning law firms, the relationship ends when you sign
your documents. At the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC, we see the signing
your estate planning documents as the beginning of our relationship with
Over time, your assets will change; your family may change; we know for sure that the law will change. Your plan must accommodate all of these changes in order to make sure your plan works when your family needs it the most. If your plan is not properly updated over time, your documents become worthless — worth no more than the paper they were printed on. Also, the costs of failing to update are typically far greater than keeping your plan current.
Some of the benefits provided under our membership plans include:
- Annual plan review with unlimited plan amendments
- Annual priceless conversation to transition your most important and most frequently lost family wealth — who you are and what’s most important to you
- Annual membership in service that provides 24/7 online access to healthcare and guardianship documents
- Substantial discount on our fees for advising your loved ones after you’re gone
- Annual review of your assets and update of your asset spreadsheet
- And much more, including valuable membership enrollment bonuses
For more information about our unique programs, please contact us.
Leaving a Real Legacy – Who You Are & What’s Important to You
After you are gone, your loved ones will miss you deeply. They will long for your words of counsel and concern. Hearing your voice again would be a tremendous gift.
Through our unique legacy process, you can give your loved ones the most precious gift: a lasting expression of your love. What could be more valuable?
At the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC, we believe estate planning is not just about transferring your financial assets and personal belongings. It’s also about capturing and transferring your valuable intangible gifts: Who you are and what's important to you – your values, insights, stories, and experience.
Several years ago, Robert’s dad died. He had left Robert a voicemail message on his cell phone and for years after he died, Robert would listen to it when he missed him – until the very bad day when it was accidentally deleted.
How Robert wishes he still had that voicemail message. Or even better, that he had a recording of his dad telling him what he loved about him, what his hopes for him were, what life lessons were most important to him, what values he most wanted for Robert, or even just saying his nickname that he had always called him.
When he was first in practice, Robert would tell his clients to record a message for their loved ones and put it in a safe place or simply write notes to their children letting them know how they felt about them. But so few people ever actually did it. We just get so caught up with the day-to-day of our lives that focusing on leaving a legacy seems to take a back seat.
So, we realized we’d have to build this into our planning process and not make it just another thing you’ll get done someday. That’s why, at the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC, we make it part of our planning for every client to help you capture and pass on more than just your money.
For more information about how we help you pass on your most valuable assets—your values, insights, stories, and experience—to your loved ones, or about our resources for leaving your family with a true legacy, please contact us.
What Would It be Worth?
Can you picture someone who’s passed away, someone you love and miss deeply? Can you recall a conversation you had with them? Can you remember the sound of their voice and what they told you? What if you could hear their voice again?
What if they could speak to you—heart to heart—and share their wisdom and advice? What would it be worth to you to hear their words one more time? What is it worth to you to know that they’ll always know exactly how much you love them? It’s worth a lot to us, and we are honored to be able to provide you and your family with this gift.
Planning for the Lifetime Care of Your Children
If you are a parent of children who count on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.
At the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC, one of our areas of greatest skill is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.
Without advance legal planning for the care of your children, if the unthinkable happens to you, here’s what could happen:
- Your children could be placed into the care of Child Protective Services (yes, even if you have a will in place and even if you have a living trust) and, yes, it would very likely only be temporary, but trust me, you never want your children in the arms of strangers. Not even for a minute.
- Your children could be put into the custody and care of someone you would never want, like that one family member who has good intentions but you’d never want raising your kids.
- A judge who doesn’t know you or your family will decide who will raise your kids, even if it’s the last person you would ever want.
- Your family could get into a long, drawn-out custody fight, or there could be a challenge to the guardians you have designated.
- Up to 5 percent of the value of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process, a court process which can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably, which can totally be avoided with advance legal planning.
- When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left.
- There are unscrupulous people out there who make it their business to look at the public records to find out when 18-year-olds are getting that inheritance check.
The vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues, and they do not plan from a parent’s perspective.
Yes, these things scare us too. That’s why we offer a Kids Protection Plan® with every estate plan we do for families with young children.
What Is a Kids Protection Plan®?
A Kids Protection Plan® is a set of instructions, legal documents,
and even an ID card for your wallet, which you need to have if you have
kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.
If you are in an accident, your Kids Protection Plan® will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services or the care of anyone you wouldn’t want because the police don't have clear instructions from you. Also, your Kids Protection Plan® will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a judge who doesn’t know you.
To get started with your Kids Protection Plan®, contact us.
Getting Started: Why Work with the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC
Many estate planning attorneys take a "one-size-fits-all" approach with their clients. They do this so that they can work with as many people as possible in a short period of time. The problem is that the client has an impersonal experience but, worse than that, this way of planning can lead to unintended results in the long run for the family.
When lawyers do not take the time to listen and consider a family's personal circumstances, the result is that your will and trust documents do not end up reflecting what your family really wants to happen. Also, usually there is no review or updating, so the plan quickly becomes outdated and does not work when your family needs it most.
So even though you may pay less upfront to get a standard set of documents (or even documents that are customized for your family), things end up much more expensive in the long run. Plus, you leave your family at risk of having to deal with an expensive, unnecessary court process during a time of tremendous grief.
Estate planning at the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC is not one-size-fits-all. We offer three levels of planning to suit your varying needs. We are right for you if you want to know that your plan will actually work when you and your loved ones need it the most. If all you want is a set of legal documents, there are plenty of online resources you can use to create them. Or, you can go to a traditional estate planning lawyer.
If what you want is to know you’ve got a plan in place that will make things easy for your loved ones no matter what happens or when, we’re the right fit for you.
Here are some of the ways we are different from most estate planning lawyers:
- All of our fees are fixed fees agreed to in advance, so there are no surprises. At our initial meeting, you will choose the level of planning and fee that works best for your family, so there will never be any surprises.
- We keep you informed and make sure your plan works. We don’t just prepare a set of legal documents for you and send you on your way. We make sure your assets are owned in the right way, we make sure your kid’s well-being is properly planned for, and we ensure everyone you’ve named in your plan knows what to do if anything happens to you.
- We review your plan at least every three years and annually through our Family Wealth VIP Membership program. We foster a lifetime, ongoing relationship with our clients. Throughout your life, things change. You change, your assets change, your family changes, the law will definitely change.
- We have a whole team in place to answer your quick questions and to make the planning process incredibly easy and painless for you and your family. We have a process for helping you make sure that your assets are titled in the right way, both now and over your lifetime.
- We help you get your legal and financial house in order by helping you make smart choices about things like buying insurance, saving for college, and retirement planning so you never spend more than you have to or get taken advantage of by unscrupulous sales people.
- Legacy planning: We believe that planning is about much more than just the transfer of your financial wealth. With all of our plans, we include a process to help you transfer your most important personal wealth to your loved ones, including your intellectual, spiritual, and human assets — who you are and what’s important to you.
Before you engage an estate planning lawyer to help you plan for the well‐being of your money, your family, and your life, there are questions you need to ask. You need to ensure that the estate plan you put in place will really work when your family needs it and won’t end up just a pile of worthless paper after you are gone.
Don’t let a set of legal documents become false security that keeps you from doing what’s best for your loved ones.
How to Get Started
By now, you've seen that the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC 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 at the Law Office of Robert J. Maher, PC. That's why our clients love us so much.
We begin with a family wealth planning session, during which we guide you to get your assets and resources organized so you can finally relax around what you have and what you need.
Then, we look at how to make things as easy as possible for your loved ones after you are gone because no one wants to leave a mess for the ones they love. During your family wealth planning session, we will identify the best ways for you to ensure your legacy of love and financial security for your family.