It is said that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. While death can’t be avoided, it can be planned for. And taxes can be sometimes be reduced or eliminated by careful drafting of wills and trusts.

Without a will, a person’s property passes according to rules set by the State (called “intestacy laws”), which may not be what the person intended. Furthermore, without a will, minor children require expensive and time consuming guardianship proceedings—and receive inheritances outright at the age of 18.

If a person becomes mentally or physically disabled, or incompetent, and can no longer make decisions, a power of attorney is a powerful tool to ensure that a trusted friend or family member takes over their decision-making for financial and health issues. Otherwise, the disabled person may require a guardianship, which is expensive, time consuming and complicated.

Planning ahead can save time and money, and lighten the burden on those you love after you pass away, or become unable to manage your affairs. The Law Office of Michelle Geri Farris offers comprehensive estate planning. We charge a flat fee for most estate planning in order to give clients a clear idea of what they will be charged, and to give clients the freedom to spend the time they need to make sure their estate plan is exactly what they want. The flat rate includes an initial phone consultation, a phone or in-person meeting to discuss estate planning needs, drafting and review of documents, and a final meeting to sign and execute the documents. 

The usual process for creating an estate plan is as follows: 

  • Initial phone conference to discuss what type of estate planning the client needs;
  • Client fills out a questionnaire and emails or faxes it to Michelle; 
  • Client and Michelle meet in person or by phone conference to discuss the questionnaire and any questions that might arise; 
  •  Michelle drafts the documents and emails them to Client for review;
  • Clients and Michelle meet to sign and execute the documents. 

Please see the "fees" page to review the flat rates charged for common estate planning instruments.



This website and its contents do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship can be formed until the attorney and client meet, discuss the client’s case, and sign a written fee agreement. Michelle is not a tax expert, and nothing in this website can be construed as tax advice. If you’d like to hire Michelle, please contact the office at 206-522-4638. Thank you! © Michelle Farris 2015