You need a will.

The problem

Most American adults don’t have a will. You probably don’t. There’s a good chance you don’t even have a power of attorney for health care or a power of attorney for finances—and decent, free forms for those are readily available.

Without a will:

  • Your spouse and children might not get the property you want them to
  • Your children could end up in the custody of someone you don’t trust
  • Your children’s inheritance might be controlled by someone you don’t trust
  • Your children will gain full control of their inheritance as soon as they turn 18

Without a power of attorney for health care:

  • Your spouse might not be able to make health care decisions for you in a crisis
  • Your wishes for health care might not be honored
  • Hospitals and doctors will be in control if you can’t make or communicate a decision yourself
  • Your family will not have the legal authority they might need to care for you
  • Your family might have to pay thousands and go to court to get a guardianship

Without a power of attorney for finances:

  • Your spouse cannot manage your property on your behalf
  • Your spouse might not be able to take important steps in a crisis, such as electing an extension of employer-provided insurance
  • Your family will not have the legal authority they might need to mange your affairs in a crisis
  • Your family might have to pay thousands and go to court to get a guardianship

Here’s the bottom line. Getting a good estate plan ensures:

  1. You will continue to take care of your family even if something happens to you.
  2. Your family will have the tools they need to take care of you.

So you need an estate plan. Of course, you knew that. But getting an estate plan is another matter. You have two poor choices: hire a lawyer to do traditional estate planning or try to figure it out yourself.

Traditional estate planning is:

  • Too time-consuming
  • Too inconvenient
  • Too complicated
  • Too expensive

Do-it-yourself estate planning is:

  • Too basic
  • Too limited
  • Too inflexible
  • Too risky

Blame the lawyers

I believe lawyers have failed to make estate planning accessible, interesting, and dare-I-say-it fun. That’s why so few American adults have even a simple plan in place.

My mission is to change that. My mission is to make estate planning simple. My mission is to move estate planning forward.

The solution

I’m a lawyer. I admit it. I’ve done traditional estate planning for many clients. They come to my office for a consultation. Then they come to my office for another meeting to talk about their documents and make a bunch of decisions. Then they come to my office again to review and sign their documents.

This works for some people (especially those who don’t have to take time off work for every meeting), but I’ve always thought there must be a better way. That’s why I’ve created Forward Estate Planning.

Imagine

  • Working with a lawyer without having to take time off work to meet at an office
  • Getting legal documents you can read and understand without a law degree
  • Getting real, personalized legal advice without paying traditional lawyers’ rates
  • Not being rushed to make potentially life-changing decisions
  • Really understanding your legal rights and powers over decisions and property, and how to exercise them
  • Learning not just about a few legal documents, but also how the law affects you when it comes to things like medical debt, student loans, parenting, investments, taxes, buying a home, marital property, and more
  • Being part of a group, all working on their estate plans at the same time, going through the same things and benefiting from each other’s questions and thoughts
  • Knowing exactly how much it’s going to cost from the beginning
  • Paying an affordable monthly fee instead of a big up front retainer

That’s Forward Estate Planning

Forward Estate Planning is a program that combines the best of traditional estate planning and online DIY. You learn from an expert, get personal legal advice, and get custom legal documents—and you can do your estate planning anywhere, on your own time, and at an affordable cost.

The details

  • Limited to 100 participants
  • Starts January 2020 and lasts 6 months
  • Costs $99/month
  • Each month, you will:
    • Complete one aspect of your estate plan (usually finalizing and executing one document)
    • Learn all about the month’s topic in small chunks via emails, videos, and live Q&As
    • Attend a webinar with an expert guest on topics such as student loans, investing, taxes, and more
    • Make informed decisions for your estate plan
    • Work with me personally as needed to answer questions, give legal advice, and customize your legal documents
  • By the end of the program, you will have a complete, customized estate plan. Your documents will be in plain English. And you’ll have learned a ton of useful information about your legal rights and what the law says about things you are likely to encounter in your everyday adult life.

The real power is knowledge

By the end of your Forward Estate Planning program, you’ll have the simple estate plan you need. But what’s even more valuable is the knowledge you’ll have gained in the process.

Interested? Sign up!

If the thought of moving estate planning forward has you intrigued, sign up for my newsletter below. It’s called The Forward Draft, and it’s all about my work as I try to move estate planning forward. You can expect a newsletter every other week. Each newsletter will include summaries and links to two blog posts about estate planning, plus some off-the-cuff remarks from me as I work on this program.