Free Initial Consultation Policy

Estate Planning

Up to one (1) free hour initial estate planning consultation for Beaufort County, South Carolina retirees with our estate planning package filled out and returned at least 48 hours prior to the conference. The package is found under Resources > Forms.  Choose the New or Prospective Client Package for a single person or a married couple, depending upon your marital status. The information is in PDF format and can be downloaded and printed.  If you have a problem with the download, please call us at (843) 785-7590 and we can email or mail a package to you.  After you have downloaded and filled out the necessary information, contact us to set up a mutually convenient time to meet.

If you are (1) a Beaufort County permanent resident who is retired, or (2) you are a full time permanent resident of Beaufort County, South Carolina living in a retirement community and (3) you have never been a client of ours, please download a package for New or Prospective Clients.

Most of the pages are for your information only and you do not need to bring them to the meeting.  You only need to bring the information that is requested on the "Instructions" page.  Return a copy of the requested information no less than 48 hours prior to your scheduled conference in order to receive your one (1) free consultation hour. Also, if married, both spouses must attend the meeting.

See “Appointments”, below, for further information.  

Probate and Trust Settlement

Up to one (1) free hour initial probate and/or trust settlement consultation for Personal Representatives and/or Trustees of Beaufort County South Carolina decedent's estates and/or trusts, but you must bring with you to the conference, the applicable information that is listed on Short Checklist in the “Probate and Trust Settlement Forms” section of our Forms for Client AppointmentsThe Information is in PDF format and can be downloaded and printed.  If you have a problem with the download, please contact us at (843) 785-7590 and we can email or mail the list to you.  After you have downloaded the necessary information, contact us to set up a mutually convenient time to meet.

See “Appointments”, below, for further information.

Appointments

Please note that as part of the scheduling of our workflow, appointments with Michael J. Howell are normally scheduled for 2:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Mornings on these days, and Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, are the times that we work on our cases and both our staff and our attorneys need to be available; otherwise, the work flow is significantly disrupted.  These are our “workflow” times.

However, appointments with Margaret Howell Up De Graff are available during workflow times upon request. 

For meetings conducted during the normal non-workflow times, there is a $50 credit given on the bill, assuming it is not a free initial consultation

The free initial consultations are for new clients and are up to one (1) hour with a $320 credit (our highest billable rate) toward all work on the file, including the meeting with the client. It also includes a complimentary estimate of the costs for any recommended work.

For meetings scheduled during our workflow periods, there is an extra charge of $100 for the conference, in addition to other charges.

Free initial consultations with Michael J. Howell, as defined on our website and client packages, are scheduled during our normal appointment times and not our workflow times.  An initial consultation can be scheduled during our workflow times, but we charge our normal hourly rates, plus the additional charge of $100 for the conference.

Initial consultations with Margaret Howell Up De Graff are also subject to the $320 credit against any charges, regardless of whether the initial meeting is scheduled during workflow hours. Also, since her billing rate is less than $320 per hour, the client will have somewhat more complimentary time for the initial consultation.

For a free initial consultation for a married couple, both spouses must attend the meeting. Also, the requested client package forms must be filled out and returned to our office. We must receive all information at least 48 hours prior to the date of the initial consultation, not counting Saturdays and Sundays. We must also have copies of all existing estate planning documents, even if you believe that they are no longer relevant at the same time