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When people hear I'm a lawyer they often make some comment about my hourly rate. Sure, I have an hourly billable rate for my work related to probates, but not for drafting estate planning documents. Why not? Because I don't want clients looking at the clock, thinking "lord, she sure can talk a lot...this is costing a fortune!" Instead I need them to be relaxed and talkative. Over the course of a conversation little nuggets about their family, finances, and health will come out. And some of those nuggets have an impact on what the documents I draft will say. For example:
- my daughter.....well she really isn't my daughter, she is my niece who I took in when she was 3 years old;
- oh.....and there is the cabin in Minnesota that we own a half share of with my sister;
- the date of my divorce, well technically we never finished the divorce, we just went our separate ways.
All true statements, and all drastically alter the approach to estate planning.