Prospective and New Clients
Our firm offers an initial consultation for prospective and new clients that we refer to as our Meet and Greet. This is a complimentary meeting that lasts about 15-20 minutes and is meant to let the client and attorney determine if they would like to work with one another. During this meeting the client will explain his or her situation to the attorney they would be working with. The attorney can then let the potential client know if this is a matter our office could handle.
Prospective and New Clients Process
The initial consultation for prospective and new clients is referred to as our Meet & Greet. This is a complimentary meeting that lasts about 15-20 minutes and is meant to let the client and attorney determine if they would like to work with one another. During this meeting the client will explain his or her situation to the attorney they would be working with. The attorney can then let the potential client know if this is a matter our office could handle.
Note: The Meet & Greet is not designed for the attorney to provide legal advice. Prevailing hourly rates for attorneys apply for such meetings.
After scheduling, we send an email that confirms the date and time of the Meet & Greet. This email also includes a questionnaire that is to be completed and returned to us three days prior to the scheduled Meet & Greet. If we do not receive the completed questionnaire, we will reschedule the meeting.
Estate planning is a process by which all of the assets of an individual, referred to as their “estate”, are organized, arranged, and accounted in order to assess and maximize the value of their estate as well as remove any ambiguities or uncertainties over the distribution and disposal of an estate when the time comes. Our Learning Center provides a wealth of information and insights regarding estate planning, if you’re interested in learning more about estate planning feel free to check out what information it has to offer.
Estate Planning Process
After meeting with many clients to discuss their estate planning, our office has recommended Revocable Living Trusts as the cornerstone for virtually all of their estate plans. A living trust offers complete control to clients during their lifetimes, provides for them and their loved ones in the event of their incapacity, and upon death allows them to pass their assets to their loved ones without the costs, delays, and publicity associated with probate.
We start with the premise that every estate, regardless of its size, is an important one. Whatever the size of your estate, you have spent your life accumulating it and want to preserve it from unnecessary taxes and administration fees and costs so that you can plan in a meaningful way for those you care about.
It is our policy to require an Engagement Letter to avoid misunderstandings as to the scope of legal services to be rendered. The Engagement Letter should be read over, signed, and returned to us so we may begin working for you.
Our comprehensive process incorporates at least two, and frequently three, attorney meetings. At the Design Meeting, we will review your assets with you and learn about you and your loved ones. We do a lot of listening at this meeting, and ask some questions. After you have taught us about you and your family, we will then explain some of the most important aspects of estate planning and the law. Finally, we will work together to decide on the details of your estate plan. A plan that is custom-designed to meet your specific needs and goals. Within two weeks of the Design Meeting we will deliver a draft version of your Estate Planning documents for your review and approval. Once you receive the drafts, you have the greatest impact on allowing the process to continue. We find some clients are very prompt in reviewing their drafts and contacting us to arrange our next meeting, while others delay the process.
The next step is a Review Meeting at our office. However, if you prefer, we can perform the review meeting by phone or by email correspondence. During this stage we will answer any questions you have about your plan and note any corrections to names or other information that you have identified. Through the course of conversation, we may find that some changes to your estate planning documents are necessary and will make those changes after the meeting. We require that you let us know about all necessary changes at this time.
You must approve the Estate Planning documents before the Trust Signing Meeting can be scheduled. It is important that you complete a diligent review of the draft version of your documents before we proceed to the signing meeting. We prepare a comprehensive Estate Planning Portfolio that includes much more than just your estate planning documents. Seemingly minor changes can result in far more work than you may expect. More important, our experience shows that last minute changes lead to increased errors. Therefore, the time involved in making changes that are outside of our established preparation and review process may cause us to delay or postpone the scheduled Signing Meeting.
Once you approve the draft documents, you will return to our office for the Trust Signing Meeting. At this time, we will have prepared your entire estate plan and Estate Planning Portfolio. During this meeting, you will sign your estate planning documents and we will work together to create a Funding plan for your assets. One week after the Trust Signing Meeting, our office will send you a letter summarizing the decisions you made regarding funding your living trust. If applicable, we will also include customized Beneficiary Designation Language for any qualified retirement plans or IRAs that you own.
It is always our goal to work closely with you to provide you with the information you need to make good choices for yourself and your loved ones. If ever our staff can answer any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office; we welcome your calls.
Most business planning occurs during the formation of a new business, restructuring of an existing business, or sale of a business. A business plan can be important for a variety of reasons:
- Establishing clear goals and plans for the future
- Identification of possible problems
- Optimizing profitability and use of resources
- Minimizing risk
- Or to ease transitions during restructuring or the sale of a business
Business Planning Process
When you contact us because you need assistance with your business, whether you are starting a new business, selling your business, or restructuring your business, we will schedule a meeting for you with our senior attorney, James J. Flick. We will send you our Business Planning Questionnaire and will request that you return it to us three to five days before your first scheduled meeting. The Initial Business Planning Meeting usually takes about one hour or less. During the meeting the attorney will review your situation and give you advice on how to form your business.
During the Initial Business Planning Meeting, a course of action will be agreed upon between you and the attorney, such as forming a new LLC or drafting employment agreements. The attorney will give you a quote on the cost of the work to be completed for your business planning. After your initial meeting you will be mailed an Engagement Letter. Once the signed Engagement Letter is received by us the attorney will begin working on your business planning project.
Next, the attorney will complete drafts of the required documents for your business planning and complete any required tasks. We will send the drafts of any required business documents to you for your review. A Business Planning Review Meeting or Review Phone Conference can be scheduled if you need to discuss changes with the attorney. Once you have approved of the drafts we will contact you to schedule the Business Planning Signing Meeting. At the signing meeting you will sign any necessary business documents and if it is a new business you will receive a completed business record book and instructions on how to keep the record book up-to-date, as well as automatic enrollment in our business maintenance program, Corporate Shield.
We are dedicated to finding the best business planning solution for you. Please call our office to schedule your Initial Business Planning meeting with James J. Flick when you are ready to pursue solutions to your business planning needs.
Company Maintenance Program
The Company Maintenance Program is a formal annual maintenance and update program designed to help our clients who use private companies (corporations, partnerships or limited liabilities companies) in their business or personal planning to focus their time and energy on running their business rather than chasing after the tedious but critical “back–office” paperwork it demands. All clients who form their private companies with our firm are automatically enrolled into the Company Maintenance Program.
Company Maintenance Program Process
Each year in October-November we invoice our Company Maintenance Program clients for service in the upcoming year. The invoice includes the Company Maintenance Program service fee, state filing fees, and registered agent fees if company was formed outside of Florida (if formed in Florida, the registered agent fees are included in the Company Maintenance Program fee).
In January we send out the Annual Company Maintenance Program Questionnaire, which is also available on this website below. The questionnaire asks for information about any major transactions or changes that occurred in the previous calendar year. Once we receive the completed questionnaire, we draft annual minutes to be signed and stored in the company record book.
Our firm also completes the annual state filings for the company on or before the filing due dates to keep the company active in the state in which it was formed. Our firm also serves as registered agent of the company if it was formed in Florida or we communicate directly with the company’s registered agent if it was formed in another state.
We are dedicated to helping our clients who use private companies (corporations, partnerships or limited liabilities companies) in their business or personal planning. Give us a call today if you would like more information on the Company Maintenance Program or would like to enroll your company.
Asset protection entails the methods available to individuals to protect themselves and their assets from the threat of law suit. Proper planning is important to legally safeguard your assets from creditors.
Asset Protection Planning Process
James J. Flick has the unique qualifications to assist his clients with asset protection concerns. James J. Flick is currently serving on the Florida Bar Asset Preservation Committee and has been creating advanced asset protection plans for affluent clients for 19 years.
When you contact us because you have concerns about securing your assets we will schedule a meeting for you with our senior attorney, James J. Flick. We will send you our Asset Protection Questionnaire and will request that you return it to us three to five days before your first scheduled meeting. The Initial Asset Protection Meeting usually takes about two hours or less. During the meeting the attorney will review your situation and give you advice on how to better shore up your assets against the threat of law suit. The advice will range from simple solutions such as changing the titling of assets, to more advanced solutions such as holding assets in various structures or entities or completing a living trust centered estate plan, or to some of the most advanced and cutting edge asset protection strategies such as domestic asset protection trusts depending on your situation and assets.
After your initial meeting with the attorney you will receive an Engagement Letter from us. This letter should be read, signed and returned to us to avoid any confusion about the overall process and allow us to begin working for you. Following this you will receive an Asset Protection Recommendation Letter that lists all the applicable asset protection solutions discussed during your meeting. You will have a list of options to choose from based on your own personal situation and your current concerns.
We are dedicated to finding the best asset protection solution for you and your family. Please call our office to schedule your Initial Asset Protection meeting with James J. Flick when you are ready to protect your assets.
Probate refers to the beginning of the process by which all of an individual’s assets, referred to as their “estate”, are distributed and disposed and all claims are resolved upon an individual’s decease.
When a loved one dies the last thing you want to think about is the probating of their assets. We understand that this is an emotional time and that there is a grieving process that you are going through. Because we understand this we will make the probate process as simple and orderly as possible. Below is a general overview of the process involved in probating your loved one’s assets once he or she has died.
When you contact us about the recent death of your family member we will send you the Decedent’s Estate Organizer. You can also find this handout on our web site at www.jflicklawyer.com. Please bring the completed Decedent’s Estate Organizer along with the required items listed on the first page of the organizer, to your first meeting with one of our attorneys. The first meeting with the attorney will allow the attorney to review your specific situation and give you recommendations and possible options for proceeding with the probate. The attorney will also give you estimates of the cost and time involved during this first meeting.
After your initial meeting with the attorney you will receive an Engagement Letter from us. This letter should be read, signed and returned to us along with the retainer payment shortly after you receive it. Once we receive the signed engagement letter and retainer payment we will draft the Opening Documents to begin the probate process. When the opening documents are ready for you to sign we will schedule a meeting to review the opening documents and you will sign them at that time. This meeting is brief and typically takes 30 minutes.
The Clerk of Courts in the County of your family member’s death will issue Letters of Administration once the opening documents have been reviewed by the Deputy Clerk and the Circuit Judge. This will be the document that gives the appointed Personal Representative the authority to manage the assets of the decedent. This is also the time when we determine which assets will have to run through the estate and therefore be included in the Inventory of the estate. We will also be instructing you on how to open an Estate Checking Account. The Estate Checking Account will be used to pay the decedent’s bills and eventually to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.
Once the Letters of Administration have been issued we will be required to publish a Notice to Creditors in the appropriate publication approved by the Court in the County of the decedent’s death. This Notice to Creditors will give a 90 day period for all creditors of your loved one’s estate to file a Claim with the Clerk of Courts. This is an important part of the probate process and this is why a probate takes at least 6 months from beginning to end and can take as long as one year.
Frequently the question comes up over how long the family members should wait to open the probate process for their deceased loved one. The answer to that depends on personal circumstances and can vary for each specific situation. Even if you and your family must delay the probate process, we encourage you to deposit the Last Will and Testament of your loved one for safekeeping with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county of your loved one’s death as soon as possible. The original Last Will and Testament should be delivered to the Courthouse in person by family members and you will have to pay in cash. The fee is about $6.00 depending on the county. It would also be wise to obtain one certified copy of the Original Last Will and Testament at that time. The cost for obtaining one certified copy of the Last Will and Testament can vary by county but is typically one dollar per page and two dollars to certify.
In closing we are dedicated to helping you administer your loved one’s estate in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible.
Guardianship refers to the process by which an individual is assigned the legal authority to care for the personal and/or property interests of another individual, known in this instance as a “ward”, under the circumstance that the ward isn’t capable of taking care of their personal and/or property interests themselves.
Guardianships are necessary when an adult is incapacitated due to illness or injury or when a child inherits or is bequeathed money from someone, such as an inheritance from a parent or money from a lawsuit settlement. When you contact our office for assistance with opening a Guardianship we will send you a New Guardianship Questionnaire for a proposed Guardianship for an adult, and a proposed Ward and New Guardianship of Minor Questionnaire for a proposed Guardianship for a child.
The completed New Guardianship Questionnaire should be brought to your Initial Meeting with the attorney. During this meeting the attorney will review your specific circumstances and give you an estimate of the cost and process involved in opening and maintaining the Guardianship. After the initial meeting you will receive an Engagement Letter from us; the letter should be read over, signed, and returned to us to avoid any confusion about our process and allow us to begin working for you.
Once we receive the signed Engagement Letter we will draft the Opening Documents which include the Letters of Guardianship. We will then schedule a meeting for you to meet with the attorney and review and sign the opening documents. Please be advised that you will have to submit to a background check and fingerprints during this opening process. There will also be education requirements that must be fulfilled by the guardian shortly after being appointed.
Once the Letters of Guardianship are signed by the Circuit Court Judge in the county of the Ward’s residence we will be required to open a Guardianship Account and to file an Inventory which is called the Initial Guardianship Report for Guardian of the Property. We will also be required to file the Initial Guardianship Report for Guardian of the Person if the guardianship is designated for person and property as in the case of an incapacitated adult.
In closing we are dedicated to helping you administer your loved one’s guardianship in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible so that the assets of your loved one are preserved to provide for his or her needs.