Our Approach

Quality planning is a process not an event.  Our Planning Process is designed to prepare and implement a comprehensive and specialized plan that meets your unique goals and circumstances.  Through our Process we learn about your hopes, your dreams, your concerns, and what keeps you awake at night.  Depending upon the complexity of your situation, there are usually four steps in the Planning Process.  Additionally, most of our clients take advantage of our Continuing Care Maintenance Program, which includes annual reviews and updates to their plans thereby ensuring that the plan continues to work as they intended.


The Planning Process begins by scheduling an Initial Conference.  Prior to that meeting, we will contact you to gather some general information about the nature of your estate or business.  This information will allow us to better prepare for our Initial Conference and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about our first meeting.

At the Initial Conference we will spend some time getting to know one another.  You can teach us about the specifics of your situation.  Do you have concerns regarding particular business issues or family members?  What are your planning goals?  Tell us about your loved ones and what you want to accomplish.  In turn, we will teach you about the law and the options that are available to you in creating your estate or business plan.

We will proceed with your plan only when you and we feel that we can achieve substantial results.  When we feel that we can design a meaningful plan that adds substantial value, we will develop the parameters of our engagement, including fees, deadlines, and responsibilities.


We will work with you to develop a plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals. We will help you determine which individuals or institutions will assist you and your loved ones in the event of your death or disability.  We will also work with you and your advisors to ensure that your plan will function as intended.  

Depending upon the complexity of your situation, the Design Phase may be comprised of one meeting or several.  Most estate and long-term care plans are completed in one Design Meeting.  However, succession plans, farm and business structure / management assessments, and estate plans that incorporate farm or business elements often require additional design time.  At the end of the Design Phase, we will schedule a date for the Signing of your Estate Plan documents.


When your documents are prepared and ready to be signed, we will carefully review each document with you to be certain they meet with your approval.  Once you have agreed that the documents reflect your wishes, we will have you sign them.  Witnesses and a notary public will also sign as appropriate.  If assets need to be titled differently as part of your plan, we will give you detailed instructions regarding the appropriate way to title your assets.  At the conclusion of the Signing Ceremony, we will schedule a date for the Funding Follow-Up.


For your plan to work as intended, your assets must be properly titled.  For example, if your plan is a living trust centered plan, assets must be titled in the name of the Living Trust.  This process is called trust “funding”.  At the Funding Follow-Up Meeting, we review the progress toward completing trust funding and other necessary asset title changes.   


After completing your plan, it is important to periodically review it to ensure it continues to meet your needs and operate as planned.  Continuing Care participants have annual reviews with us to review the plan and your objectives to ensure that the plan continues to meet your needs.  

Why is it important to review your plan?  A comprehensive plan contains many parts working together to achieve your goals.  Over time, circumstances change.  Estate values may go up or down.  Named guardians or trustees may no longer be able to serve. You may acquire or sell assets.  Life events, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, retirement, or disability, frequently lead to planning changes.  Additionally, the law changes almost every year.  For these reasons and more, most of our clients take advantage of our Continuing Care Maintenance Program and review their plan with us annually.


Some planning situations are fraught with conflict.  A husband and wife may be at an impasse regarding gifts to their children, on- farm and off-farm children may perceive that they are being treated inequitably, or the situation may be complicated by divorce or remarriage. Often, people avoid planning because they are concerned about damaging their relationships.  Accordingly, we have trained mediators on staff who can facilitate communication and help preserve your important relationships.  

With offices in East Lansing and Troy, the Fraleigh Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout the state of Michigan, including Lansing, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Troy, Saginaw, Frankenmuth, Muskegon, Sandusky, Bad Axe, Gaylord, Sault Ste. Marie, Waterford, Howell, Farmington Hills, Novi, and Port Huron in Ingham County, Eaton County, Clinton County, Shiawassee County, Livingston County, Ogemaw County, Gratiot County, Lapeer County, Sanilac County, Oakland County, and Newaygo County.

Fraleigh Law Firm, PLLC, is a Michigan company, providing legal services only in the State of Michigan.

© 2024 The Fraleigh Law Firm, PLLC - Migrated to Zoho
6200 Pine Hollow Drive, Suite 200, East Lansing, MI 48823
| Phone: 800-928-0034
755 W. Big Beaver Rd, 2020, Troy, MI 48084
| Phone: 800-928-0034

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