penbay estate planning law center

Choosing A Lawyer, Making a Will

A badly drafted will can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that is no exaggeration. Learn about making a will. 

How to choose a lawyer and making a will.

There are some things you should consider when choosing an attorney to do your will. Choosing an attorney is an important decision. These are some things that we feel are important for you to know as a consumer when choosing an estate planner and making a will.


Most folks don’t know what kinds of questions they should ask. What kinds of things should I look for when making a will?

Three things you should ask before hiring a lawyer to do your will:

  1.        Does the lawyer also do Mainecare benefits planning? or just simple wills?
  2.        Does the lawyer have a free maintenance program? 
  3.        Does the lawyer have a system to ensure that your estate plan will work as promised? 

What is LifeCounsel® 

Our mission at Penbay Estate Planning Law Center is to transform our client’s goals into a properly drafted and well-maintained estate plan that preserves family wealth and prevents family conflict. We developed, and are the only law firm that has the LifeCounsel® process to do just that. 

LifeCounsel® is a four-part system to ensure that your estate plan meets your unique goals and prioritizes your unique concerns.

Step one is knowledge. Because knowledge is power, in step one we provide you real life practical information about what can be done with proper estate planning.

Step two is Goals and Concerns. Our unique interview and assessment process is designed to help you discover your own priorities. Because every client is different, every plan is different. We find out what your personal goals and concerns are for your unique family situation.

Step three is Design. During step two you shared with us your goals and concerns. In step three we use our continuous training in estate planning and 23 years of experience to match your goals and concerns with the right legal documents and the most effective up-to-date estate planning techniques to accomplish your personal goals and address your personal concerns based on your personal priorities. 

Together we design a plan using legal documents, such as irrevocable asset protection trusts, revocable living trusts, pour over wills, advanced directives for health care, living wills, care agreements, deeds, wills, combined as necessary and customized with your specific instructions and our custom legal clauses and techniques. 

Step 4 is follow-through and free periodic review. At no additional cost, your trust is funded, your assets are aligned with your plan. We make it easy and inexpensive to keep your plan up to date with free scheduled maintenance meetings, and consults, and free and reduced rate updates and amendments. That’s LifeCounsel®


Another thing you should know…LifeCounsel® and Prudent Financial Counsel

We believe it is very important to work closely with your financial adviser. Because if you don’t properly maintain and grow your finances your estate plan is not going to matter that much. We have cultivated an active affiliation with a local, trusted and vetted financial advisement firm. There is no obligation to utilize our financial advisement firm. We have a great working relationship with many financial advisement firms. But many of our clients find it to be very effective and efficient to work with their financial advisers and estate planning attorneys in an integrated fashion.  LifeCounsel® is not just about the legal aspects of your estate plan. It is about the whole-client approach to finding the best financial adviser for the life of your family’s wealth.

With LifeCounsel® you don’t just get a lawyer, you get a team.

Your wisdom is augmented with our experience and the expertise of our estate planning team members. In your planning process the lawyer will help you uncover issues. The estate planning lawyer is trained to spot potential problems that may not be purely legal. The ultra-wealthy have had “family offices” since 1882, when the Rockefellers realized that estate planning was a team effort. A family office is a group of lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, insurance professionals, and others who collaborate to ensure the stability and proper management of their family wealth. A LifeCounsel® law firm vets local professionals qualified and proven to address the legal, investment, tax, financial, insurance and other aspects of your personalized estate plan. Together with your LifeCounsel® estate planning lawyer, they uncover potential issues, and suggest solutions.

These issues may involve family dynamics, taxes or investing or insurance. LifeCounsel® is also about directing you to a team of trusted local professionals who subscribe to our values. In order to be one of our team members and partners in the allied professions an adviser, accountant, insurance agent, realtor, or other trusted service provider must put the client first. LifeCounsel® allied professionals must look at the whole client, and they must be eager to work together with the other team members to address all facets of the client’s retirement, family and business goals.

Another thing you should know … LifeCounsel® Elder Law and Mainecare Planning

In addition to traditional asset protection, last will and testament, and trust estate planning that many attorneys do, we also provide Mainecare benefits planning. Mainecare is a government benefit that can assist in paying for long-term nursing care bills, should you ever need it.  The truth about elder law and Mainecare is that the rules are very complicated. Building Mainecare planning provisions into your estate plan requires knowledge and skill and you should realize that the standard practice does not do this. Many wills are not drafted with the knowledge or skill necessary to insure that should you need Mainecare coverage in a crisis, you have that option. It is one thing to decide you do not wish to apply for Mainecare, it is another to find out that you cannot because your estate plan documents were not properly drafted.

We developed our LifeCounsel® system to incorporate the knowledge and experience gained by the wide variety of legal and family issues dealt with by our founding attorneys over the course of many years of a practice that began in New York City decades ago.


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