Our firm is built on four guiding principles:
- Providing excellent client service
- Fostering long-term client relationships
- Collaborating with your team of advisors
- Crafting innovative solutions with fixed fees
We provide excellent client service
Service to our clients is our primary goal. To that end, we are committed to treating you and your loved ones with dignity, respect, courtesy, care and kindness. We are committed to delivering quality legal services on a timely basis. Our commitment includes a prompt response with an understanding of your needs for an efficient, result-oriented service.
We foster a lifetime relationship with you and your family
As a firm, our most valuable asset is the relationship we have with you. We want to get to know you personally and stay in touch with you and your family for years to come. Many law firms try to “disengage” from or “terminate” their clients once they have completed the planning. We prefer to remain in contact with you on a regular basis. Laws inevitably change; you can count on that. Family dynamics and financial circumstances also change over time. Because of this, we have designed a unique program — the Legacy Circle™ Client Care Program — to help you ensure your solution will work when it needs to.
We collaborate with your team of advisors
Each of your advisors has a unique perspective and knowledge of your family and your life. When you choose us as your counselor and attorney at law, we offer you the option of enhancing your existing relationships by bringing your team of professional advisors together with us to participate in your planning.
Regardless of your planning situation, The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A. believes in a team of advisors and integrated planning. We firmly believe that your needs are best served through a team approach, drawing upon the expertise of a variety of advisors. Many of our clients have strong and satisfying ties with their own advisors. We are happy to work with those advisors that are already in place. Working in concert together, we can provide you with the best plan to protect your hard-earned assets, protect your children and provide a legacy for your family.
For those clients who do not have their own advisors, we are able to recommend professionals with whom we have worked in the past, and in whom we have trust and confidence.
We provide innovative planning solutions and fixed fees
People like certainty in their lives. They don’t like unexpected bills from lawyers. For these reasons, we alleviate any unpleasant surprises by performing our planning services on a fixed-fee basis. We speak openly about our fees upfront, and our clients work with us to choose their own fees. Our clients are a lot happier with this arrangement, and so are we. Nearly all of our planning services are billed on a fixed-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises. We offer convenience as well. In addition to traditional methods of payment by check or cash, for added convenience we accept major credit cards.
No Two Clients are the Same
Just as no two clients are the same, no two client solutions are the same. We do not provide one-size-fits-all solutions, because those types of solutions usually fail when they are needed most. Your solution is custom designed to reflect your beliefs, values, and traditions, in addition to managing and transitioning your wealth as your desire.
Through our Client First Solution™ we help you feel comfortable to converse with us. We spend time getting to know you and your family, and what is important to you. We want to hear about your successes and care about your challenges. We listen to your ideas and concerns. We want you to get to know us and understand why you are important to us.
Only then can we provide you with your innovative Client First Solution™ relevant to your values, goals, and objectives for yourself, your family, and your legacy. Our guidance and counsel give you confidence at each step along the way to your Client First Solution™. From our initial Mutual Introduction Meeting™ through our Client Clarity Conversations™, plan Implementation and beyond, together we take care of it all, the way you deserve!
Step 1: We Begin With the Right Environment.
There are many ways to engage legal services. We believe the environment in which the conversations play out is almost as important as the legal skills required to execute. We offer a discrete office, tastefully appointed with total confidentiality. Our model is one of results and progress rather than hourly meetings; families leave our office with greater clarity. They know they can walk in the door in good times and bad and resolve their issues.
Step 2: Our Mutual Introduction Meeting.
Our Mutual Introduction Meeting is an opportunity for you to meet with Kevin Hernandez, Esq., so both of you can determine whether there is a good fit between you and our firm. Our philosophy believes every family is unique and, therefore, worthy of the utmost personal attention.
During our Mutual Introduction Meeting we take the time to develop a thorough understanding of your circumstances. We give you a chance to teach us about your family. We want to learn what is most important to you, as well as what you believe may be impediments to realizing you’re planning goals.
We explain what may happen to your assets and family under your current plan if you became mentally incapacitated or died. We provide information about our firm and answer your questions. Finally, we explain our fixed fee philosophy.
If it looks like there is a good fit, you will select the plan and fee, and we will prepare a written Service Agreement. If you and your spouse, or significant other, will be involved in the planning,both of you must be present at ALL meetings, including our Mutual Introduction Meeting.
Step 3: Family Wealth Inventory and Goal Clarifier.
If you hire us to assist you, we will give you our Family Wealth Inventory and our Goal Clarifier to complete at home before your next meeting.
The Family Wealth Inventory asks for your asset information. If you have a financial advisor, he or she can help you put together the necessary information.
Our Goal Clarifier helps you clarify or identify your goals and objectives. While we believe that understanding the facts is indispensable to good planning, facts alone remain void of meaning until they are understood in the context of your hopes, fears and dreams. It is important to your success and your family’s beneficial enjoyment of your success, that you gain a clear understanding of your requirements, goals, values and dreams. It’s important that you complete theGoal Clarifier.
Step 4: Blueprinting Your Plan Through Our Client Clarity Conversation and Rights and Responsibilities Review.
Our Client Clarity Conversation allows us to begin Blueprinting Your Plan. Through conversations we gather information and analyze your situation. Our experience tells us that good questions inevitably lead to good answers. While we ask thoughtful questions, more importantly, we listen … with care.
We seek first to understand you and your family. Then we review all your assets; how they’re held and any related tax issues. We seek to understand your tolerance for complexity. We also try to understand the money. How much is there? How much do you or your family need for lifestyle purposes – now and in the future? Who are the intended beneficiaries of your wealth? And, whether there is an interest in philanthropy?
As we understand your objectives, planning opportunities emerge. We discuss how the opportunities meet your objectives. We address any risks that may arise and how to manage such risks to your satisfaction.
We continue our conversations with our Rights and Responsibilities Review. During this review we explain your role in actively managing and controlling all of your affairs, both legal and financial. We also focus on whom you want to give the responsibility of acting on your behalf to control your investments, health care, and business decisions during your life, your incapacity, and death. We review the legal responsibilities imposed upon trustees, personal representatives, and you’re various financial and healthcare agents. We offer suggestions about the qualities you should look for when filling these offices within your estate plan solution.
During this stage we identify estate and wealth preservation strategies for your consideration. Some of these strategies you may not even know exist, such as inheritance protection trusts for your beneficiaries, tax-advantaged trusts, IRA wealth creating trusts, trusts that encourage entrepreneurial wealth creation or financial literacy, and purposeful trusts that bring meaning and significance to your legacy and help create good beneficiaries.
At the end of our conversations, together we will have crafted a blueprint to fit your family’s unique situation.
Step 5: Constructing Your Solution.
Once we have your blueprint, we construct your Family Wealth Solution. Our unique process transforms your concerns and our conversations into an understandable, coordinated solution.
We review and explain the elements of your Family Wealth Solution. We use diagrams so you better understand how your Family Wealth Solution works to achieve your goals. Once you thoroughly understand your Family Wealth Solution, you sign your legal tools that implement your Family Wealth Solution.
In most law firms, the relationship ends here. But at The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A., we see things differently. The signing of your legal tools that implement your Family Wealth Solution is just the first part of your journey as we build our relationship with you. Next we discuss coordinating your assets with your Family Wealth Solution.
Step 6: Funding Your Solution
Just signing of your legal tools that implement your Family Wealth Solution will not ensure success. Quite often, clients overlook two of the most important aspects of planning: asset allocation and funding. By failing to properly allocate your assets, to fund your trusts, and to create proper beneficiary designations, your Family Wealth Solution estate plan Is well-drafted, yet ineffective.
To fix that we provide you with written funding instructions for you to properly coordinate your assets with your Family Wealth Solution. Sometimes, we will prepare deeds and beneficiary designations. We often work with your financial advisors to make sure your Team of Advisors is in harmony with your Family Wealth Solution.
Step 7: Maintaining Your Solution
The one thing that is certain is change. Your Family Wealth Solutio nmust be responsive to the ever-changing dynamics of the world. You need to anticipate and accommodate change through prudent monitoring and flexibility.We make it easy for you through OurLegacy Circle™ Client Care Program.If you’re family or financial condition changes, prompting changes to your plan, OurLegacy Circle™ Client Care Program helps you keep your plan current. As part of OurLegacy Circle™ Client Care Program, our LegalVault gives you secure internet access to, and control of, your legal tools, especially, your health related tools and information need in an emergency.
Optional Steps: Our Family Solutions Retreat
Successfully educating family members about wealth transition
Because many of our clients have requested that their children meet with us so we may educate them about their Family Wealth Solution, we offer our Family Wealth Retreat.At our Family Wealth Retreat your family members learn about the roles you expect them to play. We explain the roles and duties of fiduciaries (Trustees, Personal Representatives, Guardians, Agents, etc.) and the role of a good beneficiary. Also, our Family Wealth Retreat provides your children the opportunity to discuss with us how their estate plan should coordinate with yours and what they should tell their own advisors.
Optional Steps: Capturing & Passing On Your Non-Financial Wealth
Sometimes it’s about values and not just valuables
Every family has certain customs, traditions, stories, history, beliefs, and core values that deserve to be preserved and passed on from generation to generation. Have you thought about the legacy of traditions and wisdom you received from your parents or grandparents? What important messages would you like to pass on to others? We’d be honored to help you capture this non-financial wealth in a way that will be meaningful for your family for decades to come. If you don’t take these steps to preserve what is unique about your family, it’s like a library on fire: all that wisdom, knowledge and information is lost! Let us help you preserve yours today.
Through our Family Wealth Solutions Process we transform your concerns into an understandable, coordinated plan. I hope you’ll take the next step and meet with us. We always make time to sit down with folks who want to learn more about what we do.
We can help, so call us at 727-712-1710. We look forward to meeting you!