Our Economy Plan
For Those Who Need Very Simple Estate Planning
We offer an economy service for those clients who have very simple estate planning needs. The service includes a simple Will, Durable General Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney, all for a fee of $475, per person or $950 for a married couple.
Our Economy Plan cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts offered by us, including but not limited to our free initial consultation for up to one hour of time, which is designed for more complex estate planning.
To qualify for Our Economy Plan, you must download, print, sign, and return to us the information listed below. The information that we need depends upon whether you are married or single. For those who are married, the Economy Plan requires that we represent both spouses, unless there is a conflict of interest that prevents us from doing so. If there is a conflict, we will not be able to represent either spouse.
For a single individual, the information consists of a Client Information Sheet and an Asset Summary Sheet. For a married couple, the information consists of a Client Information Sheet, a Joint Asset Summary Sheet, and a Conflict of Interest Memorandum for Married Clients Being Represented Jointly. The information is in PDF format and there is a link below. Each of the documents must be printed, filled out, signed and returned along with a printed and signed copy of this information on our Economy Plan and a check in full payment of the services chosen.
Once you return the information to us along with a check for the services, we will prepare and email your documents to you and schedule a mutually convenient time for you to come in a sign them. You should carefully review the documents and let us know if there are any typographical errors such as spelling of names or the wrong names. Name mistakes are one of the most common mistakes made when drafting estate planning documents.
Prior to drafting the documents, we will review the information to confirm that our Economy Plan is appropriate for your situation. If after we receive your information, we are unclear as to answers to questions or other information provided, we will also call to discuss them with you prior to preparing and sending out your documents.
Please keep in mind that the Economy Plan may not be appropriate for everyone, especially those with substantial or complex assets, children from previous marriages, children with disabilities, and those with no children.
The basic parameters are as follows:
You are a permanent resident of Beaufort or Jasper County, South Carolina.
You have at least one child and all children are age 21 or more.
If you are married, your spouse is also a permanent resident of Beaufort or Jasper County, South Carolina.
You and your spouse, if married, are both United States Citizens.
You (and your spouse, if married) have less than $1,000,000 in assets. This includes not only probate assets, but also non-probate assets. Non-probate assets are not normally subject to the terms of your Will by virtue of the manner in which they are owned and/or were acquired. Non-probate assets include, but are not necessarily limited to, property owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, tenants by the entirety, and assets payable to a named beneficiary other than your estate by beneficiary designation. This includes assets such as life insurance, pensions, IRAs, 401(k) plans, annuities, other pension or annuity type assets, payable on death (POD) accounts, and transfer on death (TOD) accounts. Lastly, non-probate assets include any assets that you may have in a trust. For purposes of our Economy Plan, if you own assets in trust, then the Economy Plan is not likely the right type of planning for you.
You need to carefully consider any non-probate assets and who will receive them, since they will not pass by your Will and may have an adverse impact on your planning.
Also, it will be your responsibility to make any changes to such non-probate assets to make sure they are going to the people that you want them to go to, which presumably is the same people as your will, but not necessarily.
Also, please keep in mind that some non-probate assets can become probate assets if, for instance, you survive all named joint account owners. A common disaster may also cause non-probate assets to become probate assets.
If you are not married, the Economy Plan assumes that you want to leave all of your probate assets by your Will to your children who survive you and if a child does not survive you, then to that child's issue, if any. This is what is normally considered to be a simple Will for a single person. Anything else for a single person is not simple and is not subject to the Economy Plan.
If you are married, the Economy Plan assumes that you want to leave all of your probate assets by your Will to your spouse and then to your children who survive you and if a child does not survive you, then to that child's issue, if any. This is considered to be a simple Will. Anything else for a single person is not simple and is not subject to the Economy Plan.
If you are not married, the Economy Plan assumes that you want your Personal Representative under your Will, the Agent under your Durable General Power of Attorney and your Health Care Power of Attorney to be one or more of your children in succession. Unless you tell us otherwise, in writing, the order of service by your children will be the same order that you list your children on the information that you need to download, fill out and return to us.
If you are married, the Economy Plan assumes that you want your spouse to be your Personal Representative under your Will, Agent under your Durable General Power of Attorney and your Health Care Power of Attorney. If your spouse is unable to serve, then you want it to be one or more of your children in succession. Unless you tell us otherwise, in writing, the order of service by your children will be the same order that you list your children on the information that you need to download, fill out and return to us.
With the Economy Plan, it is assumed that you do not suffer from any current disabilities that may impact your ability to take care of yourself either now or in the future. The same applies to your spouse, if you are married.
With the Economy Plan, it is assumed that you have no minor or disabled spouse or children.
You acknowledge that this is not a comprehensive estate plan and will not avoid probate or estate taxes, if there are any; nor will it necessarily prevent or substantially mitigate the need for a guardianship or conservatorship, if you become incapacitated; although, it may do so.
You acknowledge that the work is not designed to protect your assets from your creditors, i.e., you are not engaging in asset protection planning.
You acknowledge that the Economy Plan is not designed to analyze your asset composition to pinpoint possible problems that certain types of assets and your asset composition may create, since this requires much more complex estate planning.
Filling out the information is preliminary to our work. The client-lawyer relationship is not established until The Law Office of Michael J. Howell, P.A. also agrees to represent you and receives payment called for herein.
You must pay for the fees for the economy services at the time that you sign this document and return it along with the other requested information.
If payment is received and The Law Office of Michael J. Howell, P.A does not agree to represent you, then the amount paid will be promptly refunded.
Fees are considered earned at the time that we finish the documents and we email them to you. Otherwise, the funds still belong to you and will be held in our escrow account, until earned. No interest on the funds will be paid to you.
This service includes one meeting for up to one hour, as needed, to sign your documents. If more than a one hour meeting is needed, there will be an additional charge of $150 for up to an additional hour, which must be paid at the time we provide your signed documents to you. Any additional conference time after two (2) hours will be at our normal hourly rates of $320 per hour for Michael J. Howell, $270 per hour for Margaret Up De Graff, and $140 per hour for non-attorney staff members.
After your documents are signed it will most likely be necessary for you to come back and pick them up, since we have to make copies for our files. We also have to bind the originals before we give them to you. When you come back, you will also sign a receipt for the original documents.
The Economy Plan does not include written correspondence other than to send your documents to you or to schedule appointments, nor does it include telephone conferences. All such services are at our normal hourly rates, which are posted on our website. If you have questions prior to the conference to sign your documents, you should email them to us.
You are responsible for keeping all original documents in a safe place.
We do not retain any original documents.
We keep scanned PDF copies of all information that we consider relevant and this information is considered to be our file and our property but will not be shared with any third party except as specifically authorized by you or as is impliedly necessary to carry out our representation.
We keep our PDF copies for six years after our work is completed and then they are destroyed without notification. Copies of information from our files are at our normal hourly rates.
Our work is completed when the documents are signed and given to you, but the conference to sign must be scheduled within two weeks of our emailing the documents to you; otherwise, our work is completed 30 days after we email the documents to you, when we will also close the file.
Your original documents should be kept in a climate controlled environment.
Once executed, you should never pull any of your original documents apart, nor should you ever leave them with a third party, unless it is a Court, or pursuant to a Court Order, or possibly the Register of Deeds Office (but only with respect to Durable General Power of Attorney, which must be recorded to be considered durable).
Check enclosed for:
Single Person - $475.00 $_____________
Married Couple - $950.00 $____________
I/We have read the terms and conditions of the Economy Plan, including the downloaded documents, have filled them out to the best of my/our knowledge and ability and agree to the above terms and conditions. I/We also represent that I/we fall within the parameters listed above and that The Law Office of Michael J. Howell, P.A. may rely upon the accuracy of all information provided by me/us. I/We understand and acknowledge that if the information and my/our representations are not correct, then the Economy Plan may not be suitable for my/our situation. I/We further affirm that all requested information is being provided with this signed agreement.
If the Economy Plan is for a married couple, then we have both signed below.
(City, State, Zip Code)
(City, State, Zip Code)