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Estate Planning Resources for Financial Professionals

The Estate Planning Team at The Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III • Charleston

At The Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III, we work closely with other professional advisors, including Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioners, investment advisors, financial consultants, insurance professionals, Certified Public Accountants, and tax advisors as part of the estate planning team. We believe the team approach provides our mutual clients with the most comprehensive, realistic and effective estate plan.

Our Approach

Our approach is to provide our clients with a short form questionnaire and welcome kit. We ask our clients to fill out this questionnaire and send it to us prior to the first consultation. This not only facilitates a more productive first meeting, but helps our clients focus on the issues and decisions they must make in order to develop the most effective plan to meet their goals.

At the initial consultation, we provide the client with our general recommendations and a fee quote for the services we will be providing. They will be provided with a retainer agreement which they may sign at the meeting, or take with them for review and signature.

During the implementation phase, there is ongoing communication with the client, which may involve obtaining additional documentation, clarifying goals and information, and discussing options and tradeoffs. We use all appropriate avenues of communication: phone, email, and in-person meetings. We firmly believe that ongoing communication is an essential element of developing an effective plan, and building a life-long relationship with our clients.

We also believe that no client should sign any document without a comprehensive understanding of its content and the ramifications thereof. To that end, we dedicate a significant amount of time to the signing of documents. It allows us to explain each section of the plan, and answer any questions that have come up in the process.

Once documents are signed, we work directly with our clients, or with you, or both, to ensure funding. We also keep our clients informed on a regular basis through our seminar programs and our annual client appreciation reception. Through these regular touch points we keep clients informed about changes in the law that might affect them, and remind them to monitor their plans with regard to major life events.

Your Approach

Every professional organization has different processes, and different methods for interacting with clients. We are happy to work within your processes, or blend our respective methodologies. Our primary goal is to serve the needs of clients and we welcome the opportunity to serve them within the team environment.

Resources

Joint Marketing

  • Client Education
    Please visit our Blog for an online library of articles on issues related to estate planning. We have posted a number of articles suitable for use as client education.
  • Joint Marketing
    We are happy to work with you to speak to your clients or prospects on estate planning issues, including basic estate planning, charitable giving strategies, generation-skipping and other advanced topics, business succession, or asset protection. Please call the office if you would like to plan a workshop or a “Client Appreciation Event.”
  • Monthly Estate Planning E-Newsletter
    Each month we produce an electronic newsletter, on estate planning issues, for professional advisors like yourself. You may subscribe online and we will add you to our monthly e-mail list.

Let Us Help You Through This

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What Sets Us Apart
We understand this process can be difficult. We ease you through it with your best interest in mind.

Legal problems are extremely stressful, especially when your family, your health, or your freedom are at stake. At this point in time, you may not even be sure what kinds of questions you need to ask a lawyer, but that’s entirely normal. Whether your situation involves family law, estate planning, elder law, a criminal charge, or a personal injury, we will start by giving you all the information you need.

The way we see it, you deserve to get this information directly from an expert. That’s why we make it easy for you to get in touch with your lawyer, and we never ask you to sit down with a paralegal or assistant instead.

As our relationship continues, we will keep you updated about the status of your case every step of the way. Your lawyer will reach out regularly to tell you about any new developments, and he will also be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the process.

Client Success Stories

GOOD
18 reviews on
Richard Patrick
June 15, 2021.
Claude is always on top of the game, a hard worker and very responsive. Wish we could have brought him to Florida with us
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william hanshaw
July 31, 2020.
Hello everyone just wanted to share my experience with Claude Smith lll as i went to hem for help on a personal matter he;s a great person to talk to and deal with we hit some rough patches Claude never gave up it felt like we were trying to push a dump truck up hill in my book he went way beyond to help me but but after we got air in them tires boy did he drive that dump truck over that hill in my book he's the best and he's staff is very nice to thanks Claude you change my life
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Claire Kelly
October 11, 2019.
He has and still continues to help me. Mr. Smith has helped me focus on what is and is not important in the eyes of the law. He has been very patient and understanding, and I would recommend to all. He is very straight to the point and gets things accomplished! Mr. Smith has been a great help during a very stressful time!
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Tiffani Legros
October 9, 2019.
Highly recommend!!! Claude is very hard-working and cares greatly for his clients!
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Sarah Martin
October 3, 2019.
The first time I met him I was crying and upset. I had court the next day and he said to let him worry about things. I did. 12 years later I reccomend him constantly. There are things out of my control that even he can't fix, and it sucks waiting. But Claude is awesome on so many levels.
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Tiffany Mariani
September 19, 2019.
Claude Smith represented me in a family court case and personal injury case and did an amazing job on both!! Mr. Smith was very informative and stayed in contact throughout the length of both cases. He answered all my questions and was very patient with me when I unintentionally asked the same questions 5 different ways because I worried. Thank you Claude for everything.
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Law Offices of Claude S. Smith, III

805 Bigley Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302

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