Frequently Asked Questions

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Can advanced estate planning, including a will and other important documents, protect your family, your assets and prevent disputes?

Yes, taking the time to develop a comprehensive estate plan does all these things. At Spano Dawicki & Witt, our legal team provides tailored estate planning services that meet your unique needs.

All of our Consultative Planning and Strategy Conferences are conducted by one of our attorneys. If you become a client and entrust us to perform legal work for you, your case will be managed by an attorney assisted by a paralegal. We have a true teamwork approach at Spano Dawicki & Witt and believe that our clients benefit from collaborative knowledge and reduced fees.

2. If I’ve retained the firm to draft an estate plan how many appointments will be required to finalize the work?

Depending on the complexity of your estate plan, you can expect 2 or more appointments after you retain us, including at least one conference to review your goals, options and choices, and another conference to review and execute the documents once they are custom drafted. Some clients request multiple conferences to ask additional questions and confirm their estate planning choices, and we are happy to accommodate these requests as well.

3. Can I call you with additional questions after we’ve finished our work?

A. Participation in our Client Security Plan allows you to remain an active client after our work is complete, and gives you access to our attorneys immediately without requiring a Consultative Planning and Strategy Conference. Clients feel reassured knowing they have an attorney “on call” to answer their questions and concerns, no matter how simple or complex.

4. What is the difference between a “flat fee” and “hourly billing”?

Depending on the type of work we are retained to perform, either a flat fee or a retainer from which hourly work is billed, will be requested by the firm. A flat fee matter requires up-front payment in full of a set amount for the work performed; even if the work takes longer than expected, the same flat fee is charged. If the matter is billed hourly, the firm will request an up-front retainer, and detailed monthly invoices will be sent to the client when amounts are drawn from the retainer. Our estate planning work is typically done on a flat-fee basis, while matters such as probate administration or guardianship require retainers.

5. Where should I store my estate planning documents once they are signed and finalized?

We recommend that you store your estate planning documents in a fire proof safe in your home. Storing them in a safety deposit box often results in inconvenient and expensive delays in case you need the documents over the weekend (when the banks are closed) or after a death (when the deceased owner can no longer access the box.)

6. What if I want to change the details of my estate planning documents in the future?

An estate plan was not meant to be static; as your life changes, your documents should change as well. At Spano Dawicki & Witt we hope to assist you over the course of your lifetime, to make sure your documents are updated and remain consistent with your goals.

7. Can you assist me with questions and concerns in areas other than Elder Law?

When asked this question, we often compare law to medicine: if you have a broken leg you need to be seen by an orthopedist, not a cardiologist; and if you have poor eyesight you need to work with an ophthalmologist, not a podiatrist. Law is very similar! You should always work an attorney who specializes in the area of law that concerns you. At Spano Dawicki & Witt we are specially trained elder law attorneys who focus on the issues of estate planning, Special Needs planning, Guardianship and Conservatorship, probate and trust administration, Medicaid/MassHealth, asset protection, tax planning, and other subsets of law affecting seniors and their families. If you need assistance with other work, we would be happy to refer you to an expert attorney we trust.