Unlike most estate planning firms in town, we do not see the production of a set of documents as our goal. Rather, we see ourselves as your long-term trusted advisor, making sure you always have a plan in place that reflects your needs, health, goals, and values, and one that will actually work when the time comes. All of our work is done on a flat-fee basis agreed to up front, so there are never any surprise billings. We incorporate the latest technology into all of our planning so your documents will not be stashed away in an inaccessible place when needed, but rather can be available instantly to emergency responders and family members.
For those of you with minor children or special needs family members, we will create a special Parent Contingency Plan to make sure your children will be cared for in both the short- and long-term by the people you choose and in the manner you want, with clear guidance to all concerned.
At Watershed Estate Planning we believe estate planning is not just about transferring your financial assets and personal belongings. It’s also about capturing and transferring your valuable intangible gifts: your values, insights, stories and experiences. That’s why we make it part of every client’s planning process to help you capture and pass on more than just your money. It is your intellectual, spiritual and human assets that make you who you are. These are the most precious things you can give to your loved ones.
You don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to your family’s future. In the end, estate planning is not something we do for ourselves. It is a gift we provide for those we love. Schedule a Complimentary Estate Planning Session to learn about the most appropriate type of estate plan for your needs.
Learn more about the Watershed Estate Planning difference.
Overview of Services
At Watershed Estate Planning, we take great pride in serving as your trusted advisor. Let us guide you through the estate planning process, and create a plan uniquely tailored to your specific needs.
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Estate planning is not about obtaining a set of documents. It is about making a series of informed decisions and taking a series of thoughtful actions, all of which are designed to ensure that in the event of your death or disability, things will transition in the way you would have hoped, with the least disruption possible and with minimal or no intrusion by the court.
If you have children who depend on you for their care, you should put into place a Parent Contingency Plan to name both short- and long-term guardians, and you should designate a “financial parent” who can oversee the management of any assets left behind until your children are mature enough to take over this important role.
If you have assets, estate planning involves looking at how best to preserve and protect those assets from estate taxes, future creditors and lawsuits, and even potential subsequent divorces of your children. If you have particular wishes or religious concerns about health-care related issues including end-of-life care or organ donation, estate planning can and should include a mechanism to make sure those wishes are both known and respected.
Comprehensive estate planning should always include an easy transition for the management of your assets in the event of your disability or death so that your estate can continue to run and function without the need for court interference.
At Watershed Estate Planning, we take pride in serving as your trusted estate planning advisor. We will guide you through the choices you need to make to create an estate plan uniquely tailored to your specific needs. And, we will make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure your plan will actually work when the time comes. For example, we make sure that if we’ve set up a revocable living trust, it is properly funded and that you have coordinated any beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies with the rest of your estate plan.
Your comprehensive estate plan may include the following legal instruments:
- Wills and Trusts
- Powers of Attorney
- Advance Health Care Directives
- HIPAA Releases
- Parent Contingency Plan
If you are a parent of minor children, it is imperative that your estate plan include documents and a process that will ensure your kids will be cared for by the people you want, in the way you want, in case something happens to you.
At Watershed Estate Planning, we include a comprehensive Parent Contingency Plan as part of all of our estate planning for parents with minor children or dependents with special needs. A Parent Contingency Plan is a set of instructions, legal documents and even an emergency card for your wallet, all of which you need to have if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.
If you are in an accident, your Parent Contingency Plan will make sure your children are never placed either with Child Protective Services or in the care of anyone you wouldn’t want—even temporarily—because the police will have clear instructions from you and easy access to legal documentation they can rely on for the immediate care of your children. And your Parent Contingency Plan will ensure your children will be raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a judge who doesn’t know you.
If you have a dependent with special needs, including a child, sibling, or parent, you need to incorporate special needs planning into your estate plan because this person may never be self-sufficient and may need financial and custodial assistance long after you are gone. In addition, providing a traditional inheritance to this person could destroy his or her ability to qualify for government benefits.
At Watershed Estate Planning, we can help you plan for the future security of your special needs loved one by helping you establish a Special Needs Trust. This is the most reliable way to ensure your inheritance and gifts will benefit your special needs dependent without putting his or her government benefits at risk.
If you have been named the trustee or successor trustee of a loved-one’s trust, we can help you navigate the waters of administering that trust. Some of the duties commonly performed by trustees include: accounting, sending notices to beneficiaries, estate appraisal and inventory, filing income and estate taxes, and administering any sub-trusts.
I was headed into major surgery with two little kids, a husband and a business that depended on me. I needed to know that my kids would be taken care of and that my husband wouldn’t have to be the one making all the difficult decisions when it came to a living will. Jodie worked with me and really listened to what I needed to set up to make sure my kids were taken care of in case something happened. She made the process easy and answered all my questions as we went through the process. She has given me a little peace of mind and did it with so much kindness and caring.
~ Margaret Adsit ~
Jodie Gilbert was so helpful in putting together my Special Needs Trust and Living Will. She was very patient in listening to all my questions and then very clearly explaining how to go about getting them resolved. This was all done in a very caring and timely manner. I am so thankful for all the time and expertise that she put into these legal documents. I would highly recommend Jodie for help in any legal matters.
~ Tova ~
Wendi really took the time to answer all of our questions with a mix of humor and seriousness, and diligently followed up. She is on it, and emotionally open to the emotional part of the process. Wendi makes you feel incredibly comfortable during all stages of what can seem like a daunting process. I really trust her, and feel so much more prepared for my future and my children’s futures after going through this work. She provides a great gift to her clients.
~ Mari Brown ~
We had been researching lawyers for years to do our estate plan. We feel we learned more from our first 20 minutes with Wendi than we did in an hour with any of the others. Wendi was really patient with all of our questions and explained everything so well. We have already recommended her to several of our friends.
~ David and Celine Alper ~
We loved working with Temkin Law. We not only gained a better understanding of estates and trusts, but of ourselves as well. We can rest easy knowing that our ‘stuff’ is in order for our child. Doing the Legacy Interview was absolutely priceless. We so enjoyed getting to know Wendi.
~ L.W. and J.W. ~
Wendi made a time-consuming process much easier to complete through her check-lists, templates, and clear instructions for every task. The binder she put together for us is so thorough and makes something overwhelmingly complicated possible to understand and follow. If I need to remember anything about what we did, I know it is in the binder!
~ Mary ~
This truly was the best experience with an attorney ever. Ms. Temkin shines brightly with her highly capable communication skill. She also brings a level of comfort that is authentic and unlike previous attorney contacts. Her personable communication style coupled with her strong knowledge base quickly streamlines the experience into a straight forward efficient session.
~ Judy Roberts ~
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