Full vs. Limited Scope

Full Scope

Protect yourself and your family with a personalized, comprehensive, organized estate plan.

You need a current estate plan now to:

  • put your legal and financial affairs in order while you can – do not wait until there is an accident, an illness, or a financial emergency
  • ensure that your medical and end of life wishes are respectfully followed and less likely to cause your loved ones additional pain or stress – do not leave it to them to work it out and decide during a crisis 
  • appoint temporary emergency guardians and permanent legal guardians for your minor children so the children never have to spend time in the care of strangers through the Department of Children and Families ( DCF ) or in a foster care home
  • provide practical, parental guidance for your children’s caregivers in the event of an emergency to provide your children emotional stability and comfort during an otherwise scary time
  • provide practical, financial, and emotional gifts, guidance, and support for your growing and grown children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, siblings, or other surviving loved ones
  • provide guidance and security for your loved ones, no matter what challenging circumstances may lay ahead so their trauma and grief are not compounded by other stresses
  • provide for the continued, loving care of your dog, cat, or other pets if you are ever unable to care for them yourself
  • spare your surviving loved ones from having to go through the time-consuming, public, expensive probate court process
  • structure the way your children or other loved ones receive their inheritance so that it helps rather than harms them
  • reduce the amount of taxes that go to whoever is in office at the time instead of to your surviving loved ones directly
  • leave a lasting impact by making a gift to an existing charity or creating something special of your own

We work with our clients’ other trusted, professional advisors including their financial advisors, wealth managers, and accountants for a coordinated, team approach to looking out for our clients’ best interests. Our clients’ best interests always come first.

To get started, contact our office any time to schedule your FREE, New Client Informational & Intake Call.

We look forward to providing you priceless peace of mind.

all. For those who have relatively straightforward family & financial situations, we are able to offer nested plan options to make the process of getting your ducks in a row fast, easy, & an exceptional value.

Limited Scope

At DGVE law, we offer all our clients right-sized estate plans because one size does not fit all. For those who have relatively straightforward family & financial situations, we are able to offer nested plan options to make the process of getting your ducks in a row fast, easy, & an exceptional value.

Legacy Nesting

Flying the Nest

This is for:

  • Young adults (around ages 18-28)
  • Unmarried
  • No children
  • Limited assets
  • College or grad school, or beginning careers

With the “Flying the Nest” Plan, you can rest assured that the people you trust will always be able to help when needed.

Filling the Nest

This is for:

  • Individuals or couples with young children
  • Both are U.S. citizens
  • Have nontaxable estates (less than $2M for individuals / less than $4M for married couples – including the full value of:
    • Life insurance
    • Retirement savings accounts
    • Equity home ownership
    • All bank accounts
    • All investment accounts
    • All tangible personal property

With the “Filling the Nest” Plan, you can ensure that only the people you trust are the ones who will help you in an emergency, protecting your family’s privacy.

Empty Nest

This is for:

  • Individuals or couples with grown & flown children
  • Both are U.S. citizens
  • Have nontaxable estates (less than $2M for individuals / less than $4M for married couples – including the full value of:
    • Life insurance
    • Retirement savings accounts
    • Equity home ownership
    • All bank accounts
    • All investment accounts
    • All tangible personal property

Processes & Scope of Services Comparison

Them

Limited Scope

Full Service

basic estate plan: health care proxy, durable power of attorney, Will, & Trust

comprehensive, core estate plan including: appointments of guardians for minor children (emergency & permanent); health care directives, including HIPAA authorizations & Health Care Proxies; financial durable powers of attorney; Wills; & revocable living trusts

Signing Ceremony to review, ensure your comfort with, and facilitate the proper, formal execution of all your legal documents according to Massachusetts law including Notary Public and Witness services

Receive electronic copy of your estate plan through secure client portal

Emergency medical wallet cards to provide immediate, worldwide access to your children’s guardianship documents & your own health care legal documents in the event of an accident or emergency

DGVE law Asset Organizer + general advice and guidance to designate beneficiaries and fund your trust

DGVE law Asset Organizer completed for you + Asset Inventory with specific advice and guidance regarding your assets, how to designate your beneficiaries, & how to fund your trusts

comprehensive Peace of Mind Planning Session estate plan design meeting with Attorney in office or online to review your unique family & financial circumstances, learn about comprehensive estate planning and your options, ask all your questions, & get personalized advice about the type of estate plan best suited to your needs & guidance about how to make decisions about your plan design
(vs. limited scope process using electronic estate plan design worksheet with our general guidance included throughout to help you make decisions as you go through it on your own)

estate tax minimization planning through marital deduction & credit shelter / bypass subtrusts

Plan Presentation Meeting to review and discuss practical implementation, use, and updating of all parts of your estate plan; opportunity to ask questions and receive personalized guidance about discussing the plan with your family members; comprehensive review and discussion of your assets and how to ensure that they align with your legal documents through proper beneficiary designations, account title changes, etc.

letters to your trusted health care agents, financial agents, & guardians of your children to provide an overview of their roles in your plan & offer to answer their general questions, letting them know where to turn for assistance when needed

opportunity to record Heart-to-Heart Conversation to leave a lasting legacy for your surviving loved ones for generations to come

consultation & communications with your other professional advisors, such as your financial advisor and accountant, to help ensure coordinated approach to your comprehensive legal, financial, and tax planning

ongoing communications & priority access for “quick questions” to your asset alignment & trust funding questions & updates to your Asset Inventory to help you track and ensure proper completion of that important process for several months after you sign your plan documents

minor plan updates within 3 months of signing at no additional charge

Frequently Asked Questions

You have an estate! It sounds fancy, but it really just means all your stuff, no matter how much or how little that is. We happily serve, with equal respect, clients with relatively small to very high net worth estates. You need to make a plan for who will take care of all your stuff if you ever can’t and what should happen with all your stuff after you die. A good estate plan that every adult needs will go well beyond those basics (Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy) though.

If you don’t have an estate plan, the state has a one-size-fits-all plan for you, your family, and your assets.  First, your loved ones will have to gather all your financial details to submit to the Family and Probate Court.  Then a Judge will decide who should be in charge of your assets, who should be legal guardian of your children if they are minors, and who should get all of your assets when.

Your loved ones can try to do this all themselves, but it is a lot of very detailed and time-consuming work, especially when people are busy trying to grieve a loss. They can hire a lawyer to help them, but the costs are often greater than if you had had a comprehensive, detailed, organized estate plan in place.

Those with larger estates can better afford to spend money on estate administration fees as the remaining assets will still be sufficient to provide comfort and/or a solid foundation for their loved ones.  Those with smaller estates have more to lose by not having their affairs in order to protect and provide for their loved ones.

We’ll provide you with choices about how to structure your plan to make sure your family is as comfortable and financially secure as possible (and as you wish).  

When you meet with our lawyer you’ll discuss and evaluate your unique risks, learn about the different options you have to try to protect against them, and determine which are best suited to your specific circumstances.

If you are interested in leaving money to charity, we can help you figure out the best ways to go about doing that based on your intended gifts, the particular charities, and the rest of your estate planning goals.

You probably have a lot more than you think. A good estate plan isn’t just for the very wealthy. There is much comfort and pleasure that money can buy but it certainly can’t buy everything and a good estate plan is about so much more than money. You have yourself and the people you love and you probably care about what happens in those respects.  Those are usually the most important considerations in a good estate plan.

Absolutely not! That’s why we’re here.  We will help you organize your information and provide you with enough legal counseling and advice to help you make the best possible decisions for your own family and finances. Calling our office is the first step toward genuine peace of mind.

Our fees for professional legal services are not the highest or the lowest around, but they are carefully calculated to provide you with the most comprehensive service and best professional legal counseling and advice.

Because we have the experience to know what it will take to deliver your unique estate plan, we are able to set and charge flat fees for most of our services. Once we determine what type of estate plan will best suit your needs and accomplish your goals based on your unique family and financial circumstances (such as whether you have minor children, complex assets or family circumstances, are a U.S. citizen, have an estate taxable estate, have a blended family, etc.), then we will be able to identify your precise, flat, legal fee so there are no surprises.

To give you a sense, our comprehensive planning fees generally range between about $1,500 and $9,750. We also offer limited scope legal service packages for young adults, new parents, and retirees who may need or be looking for a less comprehensive plan to address only their most pressing concerns. We know that legal fees can be a big expense but we want to help you prioritize and get this critically important safeguard in place as soon as possible so you and your family will be well protected. We accept credit card payments to help make it easier for you to budget and obtain the plan you need now.

If you are a graduating high school senior headed off to college or you are just starting your first job, we have the right-sized plan for you.  If you are expecting your first baby or you just had a new baby and are looking to buy your first home, we have the right-sized plan for you.  If your children are grown and you are downsizing and heading into retirement, we have the right-sized plan for you.  Whatever stage of life you are in right now, we know how to help you plan for and protect what matters most to you.

By completing your intake worksheet thoroughly and providing as much information as possible up front, coming to your initial meeting prepared to make big decisions, and responding to requests for follow up information and confirmations, you will help keep the process moving along to avoid unnecessary delays and reduce costs of providing you with these legal services.

You will need to dust off and review your estate plan at least once a year and as your family and financial situations change during your lifetime, you will likely need to make at least minor changes. To help make sure your plan always reflects your wishes and works how you want it to work, we offer complimentary reviews for all our clients every 3 years.

For more information, just call or email us at:  (781) 740-0848  or info@dgvelaw.com

You can always contact us for assistance. We will advise you if we believe a comprehensive Review Meeting is in your best interests or if we can simply set a flat fee to assist you with those limited updates.

Absolutely! As long as you have capacity and are alive & well enough to do so, you can always amend your family’s estate plan.  However, adding in tax planning is not a minor amendment. That would require significant legal drafting and revisions to your legal documents.  We would advise a comprehensive Restatement of your trusts to avoid confusion and practical difficulties with administration.  The fees for that type of amendment to your plan would be greater than a simple amendment, such as to change the names or order of your trusted health care or financial agents or guardians of your children.  If you are concerned about tax planning, you would likely be better to pursue that initially as the cost savings of a limited scope plan now would likely be negated later. We accept credit card payments and offer the opportunity for financing so that you can choose the type of plan that best serves your family now with certainty regarding the fees and cover the cost of your investment the way that works best for you.

We can amend our Engagement Agreement from the Limited Scope Process to the Full Service Process and Scope of Services.