What you need to know:

  1. Estate planning is not a transaction – one and done deal
  2. Your relationship with your estate planning lawyer may be the most important thing.

In the USA Today section of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader published on Easter Sunday, an article caught my eye. The article appeared under the headline “You’re on the Clock” indicating that doctors rush patients out the door and it could get even worse.

To summarize the article, it indicates that most doctors limit their appointments to about 15 minutes. They do so because they need to see about four patients per hour. (MEDICARE and the insurance companies are probably to blame.) Some doctors need to limit their visits to 11 minutes. The article predicts that the problem may get even worse. As millions of consumers have gained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, those health care consumers will begin to visit doctors, the supply of doctors is not going up, the time doctors spend with patients will be continually more limited.

The article indicated that “doctors have one eye on the patient, and one eye of the clock.” This quote was attributed to David Rothman, who is an academic at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. The article goes on to state “by all accounts, short visits take a toll on the doctor/patient relationship, which is considered a key ingredient of good care, and may represent a missed opportunity for getting patients more actively involved in their own health.”

When you come to visit Doug Thesenvitz for your first estate planning appointment, there is no clock. The first estate planning visit is always at no charge to you. The point of the first visit is to develop to get to know you. We need to develop the relationship which has been noted as so important and lacking in the doctor/patient relationship. Only through a fully cultivated and developed attorney/client relationship can we determine what the best estate plan for you might be.

Your estate planning needs, while not usually not considered as immediately important as your healthcare needs, are some of the most important decisions you can make. It is some of the most important planning you can do. We never know when you we may become disabled or die. Really – it is urgent planning.

The Key Takeaways

  1. Make sure you look for an estate planning attorney willing to take the time to develop a relationship with you.
  2. Your estate planning attorney should view you person with whom a relationship is the number one thing or process, not simply a transaction that needs to get done on the clock

Estate planning may be the most important legal work you can have done for you. It is work that can need to be maintained and updated. It is important to maintain and update your estate plan on a regular basis because the law changes on a regular basis, your family changes on a regular basis and the state of the estate planning art is always evolving. You should look for an attorney who is willing to keep track of the changes in the law, keep track of the state of the art, and more importantly, to keep track of the changes in your life based on a relationship your attorney is willing to develop and maintain with you on a personal and ongoing basis.

Call or email me and set up a time to get to know me. We can meet here in my Sioux Falls office. There is no charge for this initial meeting because you need to have an opportunity to decide if I am right for you. I am looking forward to serving your estate planning needs.

Doug Thesenvitz

300 N. Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota