A Few Things I Believe

One of the things I believe about estate planning is that you are not a transaction. You may wonder what that means, so let me explain on the basis of what I learned in law school. When they talk about estate planning it comes under the banner of “transactional law”, just as much as litigation is a court room process. I dislike the word “transactional law” because that is not how we treat our clients. It is not the same as going to a fast-food outlet and ordering a meal. 

You Are Not A Transaction

We want to provide you with education, and teach you the differences between the various estate planning ‘tools’ you need. We will not shuffle you out the door with some documents, but instead we want to have an ongoing relationship with you. People who come to my law firm, don’t just get documents, they get to have an ongoing relationship.

It is important to us that you are updated about changes in the law. We keep our clients informed through webinars and events. We even have fun together at special social events. If you work with our law firm, we are going to continue to support you through your retirement, taking good care of you during all the stages of aging.

I also believe that estate planning is not death planning, even thought it includes death. When I ask an audience what the first document is that they think about relating to estate planning, most people will say it is the Last Will and Testament. The primary purpose of a will is to determine who gets your assets when you pass away. Many lawyers want you to believe that since you are not rich, all you need is a simple will. I could not disagree more with this notion for a few reasons.

You May Need More Than Just A Will

What happens if somebody becomes disabled, or is diagnosed with dementia? What happens if your spouse needs a nursing home? How will you protect your assets? Nursing homes will require you to spend your money to pay for your care. What happens if you need a nursing home when you are over 65? Medicare should pay for the nursing home, but unfortunately they don’t pay for custodial long term care. Medicaid is the only payment source to help you pay for care in a Nursing Home.

Nobody wants want to go broke in a nursing home, but if a senior needs care, the family may feel lost and not know who to turn to. Whether you approach a personal care home, or a skilled nursing facility, these places will offer to help your loved one. However, you may not know what level of care your loved one needs, which can be stressful for all concerned. This is why, at the Sechler Law Firm, we have a social worker who will help you to interpret advice you might have been given, and help you to find the best placement for your loved one.

We Want to Build A Relationship with Our Clients

My goal is to help you enjoy a healthy, happy and financially sound retirement, and when you pass away, we are here to ensure your assets go to your family. Our clients come to us from all walks of life, and they’ve worked hard, to save a nest egg. They come to us because they want to protect their nest egg. Their goal is to have a good retirement and to live life on their terms. When they pass away, they want their assets to go to their family and not be intercepted by taxes, nursing homes and probate lawyers. 

This is why we teach you about trusts. We want to make sure that as laws change and as your life changes, your planning can adapt and continue to provide the healthy, happy and financially sound retirement you’ve dreamed of.

Even after you’ve completed your documents, we still offer workshops and webinars to members of our Red Wagon Club. These workshops include education for your kids, teaching them more about their role as executors or trustees. We also offer workshops with the social worker, to explain what the long term care system looks like. Guiding you to plan for digital assets on your phone is another workshop we offer. We all have digital content and we need to preserve our photos and videos.

Giving You The Best is Our Goal

We also believe you should have the best plan. Understandably most people select an estate plan based on cost, but it is not necessarily the best plan for them, because the best plan is more expensive. At our law firm, we restructured our model to provide education first in a group setting, allowing us to make the plans more affordable while giving you the best. We explain what that looks like, and often our plans include a trust. Before you think that trusts are only for rich people, we can reassure you that trusts are for anybody who wants to accomplish their goals. We use trusts to protect assets from nursing homes. Many rich people aren’t worried about nursing home costs because they pay for it with the interest on their money. However, middle class folks who run the risk of going broke in a nursing home, can protect their assets with a trust. While certain types of trusts are only for rich people, there are many trusts which we recommend for middle class folks. 

If you come to one of our upcoming Three Secrets to Protect Your Legacy Workshops, we will teach you about the different estate planning tools. Register for our workshops on our website. We offer workshops in Cranberry Township, in Southpointe and in Monroeville every month.