ABOUT US

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to build lasting relationships with our clients and allied professionals by providing exceptional service and sophisticated legal counsel in the areas of estate planning; probate, estate and trust administration; and business planning.

In order to achieve that mission, our focus goes beyond simply designing and implementing legal strategies; we focus on building close, collaborative relationships based on trust, respect, and open communication.

Families seek our advice in planning for the two most important aspects of their lives: everyone they love and everything they own. Our network of allied professionals (accountants, business and family law attorneys, bankers, insurance agents, real estate professionals, and financial/investment advisors) refer their clients to us and rely on us for education and support in matters of estate and business planning.

We strive to earn the trust and confidence that people place in us by:

• Listening actively to individual concerns, goals, and objectives to ensure we truly understand what is most important to our clients
• Collaborating with other professional advisors to maximize value for our clients
• Providing comprehensive, effective legal solutions that address our clients’ specific needs and concerns and achieve their goals and objectives
• Improving our ability to design, implement, and maintain effective planning solutions by constantly pursuing the best continuing legal education and supporting technologies

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

Our values come from a very genuine place—a combination of a client-centered approach to estate planning and from personal experience in dealing with the death of a loved one. 

To gain more insight into why we do what we do, check out this blog post from founder Cory Howes.

OUR VALUES

At Howes Law, our commitment begins with delivering the highest level of service. In our increasingly impersonal world, high-quality client service is often a secondary concern at all types of businesses. In contrast, we regard it as a primary focus of our work. At Howes Law, the foundation of our practice is treating each client with respect and personal attention from attorneys and staff at every step of the process. Never resting on our laurels, we believe that today’s best may be sub-standard tomorrow. Thus, we are constantly looking for ways to improve your client experience.
Our greatest goal is to give you peace of mind. Howes Law helps families and business owners plan for life, deal with death, preserve wealth, and protect inheritances. When you engage our firm as your family attorney, we strive to provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing that proper planning will control and minimize the burdens of incapacity and death on your family and business.
We actively listen to ensure that your goals and objectives are as clear and meaningful to us as they are to you. Communication is the cornerstone of our client relationships. The hallmark of Howes Law is our responsiveness; we are always available via telephone, in person, or via email. Our staff responds to phone calls and emails within 24 hours, if not sooner. We also use a web-based client portal to communicate and share documents quickly and securely, and our staff will meet with you as many times as needed throughout the estate or business planning process, to ensure we understand your needs and goals and to answer any questions you may have.
We believe a team approach gives our clients the best results. In order to deliver the highest-quality service, we build and maintain relationships with you and your other professional advisors. Whether we are designing an estate plan, administering an estate or trust, or planning for a business, we believe that collaboration and cooperation are essential.
We are a results-oriented law firm. When you engage Howes Law, whether for estate planning, estate/trust administration and probate, or business planning, our aim is to produce effective strategies and thoughtful, holistic solutions that meet your goals and objectives.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS CAN EXPECT: ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS

An estate plan is more than just legal documents, such as a will or trust, or powers of attorney. It is the culmination of a process of identifying your goals and objectives, learning about your planning options, and determining the best method of achieving those goals. Our planning process is designed to guide you through these steps in an efficient, yet thorough manner. Of course, legal documents are essential to any proper estate plan, and we will prepare customized legal documents tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Prior to your initial consultation, we request that you complete our estate planning information worksheet, which is designed to encourage you to begin thinking about some of the issues we will address during the estate planning process and to provide basic information about you, your family, your property, and your planning objectives.
During the initial consultation, we want to get to know you and your family, your needs and concerns, and the goals and objectives you seek to accomplish. We will also provide information about estate planning and administration, the various issues that can be addressed with planning, and the options and tools available to address each issue. By the end of this meeting, we will have created a preliminary plan design and will provide an estimated fee range to accomplish your specific goals and objectives.
During the design meeting, which is scheduled approximately two weeks after the initial consultation, we make specific recommendations designed to address each of your concerns and planning objectives. Our recommendations are presented in a graphic diagram that shows how each component of the plan works together over time. We then finalize the details of the plan design to ensure that it meets your specific goals and objectives. After finalizing the plan design, we provide the final fixed fee required to draft the customized legal documents and implement the estate plan.
Once the legal documents have been drafted, we meet with you to review and execute your legal documents. You will receive an estate planning portfolio with copies of all of your documents as well as a folder with a set of original executed documents for safe storage. We also execute any documents necessary to coordinate your assets with your estate plan, such as beneficiary change forms, deeds, etc.
The FamilyCare Meeting is an optional meeting where you may invite your family and the trusted individuals you nominated as fiduciaries—such as guardians, executors, or trustees—to learn about your estate plan. Without revealing any specific financial information, we review the estate plan design and the various roles your fiduciaries will perform, and we provide an opportunity for you to share your planning goals with your loved ones and those who will execute your plan. The purpose of this meeting is to promote family harmony and to ensure that the individuals serving as fiduciaries understand their roles and responsibilities and your intentions.
Whether your plan is will‐based or trust‐based, it is essential that your property is properly coordinated with your plan so that it works as intended. This includes ensuring assets are titled correctly, updating beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement plans, and potentially other funding issues. For most clients, our goal is to have all of the asset coordination documents ready to sign at your signing meeting, although in some situations it may require additional time or separate meetings.
An estate plan is a snapshot of you, your family, your assets, and the tax laws in effect at the time it was created. When we deliver a completed estate plan, it is current and up to date. However, it will become outdated, and often sooner than you may think. Laws change, family situations change, and assets and finances change. It is critical to know whether the changes in your life or the law affect your estate plan and whether your plan needs to be updated. Performing a systematic annual review ensures the integrity of your estate plan and keeps your plan current as your life and the laws change over time. In addition to the annual review, our EstateCare Membership Program includes many other valuable benefits, which we outline on the EstateCare page.
“Cory has a very good process and the meetings are well organized so the client can understand exactly what will be covered.”
JIM G.

PEOPLE

M. CORY HOWES

FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL ATTORNEY
Kiera Magnus

KIERA MAGNUS

PARALEGAL
“Cory has great experience in financial planning and litigation, so he’s able to bring those two perspectives to the estate planning process. These perspectives, along with his commitment to a great client experience, really set him apart.”
BRIAN C.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS CAN EXPECT: ATTORNEY FEES

When you contact our firm, we will explain our process on the phone and schedule an initial consultation with you. We do not charge attorney fees for an initial consultation. At the conclusion of your initial consultation, we will provide an estimated fee range based on our initial expectations of the services we anticipate you will need. Depending on the types of services you need, we may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate. At Howes Law, we strive to provide efficient legal services and charge fees that are fair to both our clients and us, commensurate with the value we deliver.

For Estate Planning clients, we charge a flat fee based on the design of your plan. For more information on our planning process, please review What Our Clients Can Expect: Estate Planning Process. Please understand that we do not simply fill out generic forms for you to sign. We craft a custom estate plan and draft specialized documents to meet your specific needs. Only after we’re clear on the work required to accomplish your specific goals and objectives can we quote an appropriate fee. We firmly believe this personalized approach provides exceptional value to our clients and far outweighs any nominal savings up front.
For Probate and Estate/Trust Administration and Business Planning clients, we charge based on an hourly rate or flat fee basis, depending on the nature of the request and the individual client’s preferences. When you contact us, we will discuss your needs and decide on a fee structure that works best for you.