Spring is a time of renewal, new growth, and possibility. Although many of us experience a burst of energy as the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, it often doesn’t last long. In just a few weeks, our lives will begin to bustle with summertime preparations and an ever-growing To Do list. So, how can we make the most of the calm before the storm? Clear out those lingering tasks that have been sitting on the back burner for far too long! We are often surprised at how great it feels to finally cross off a long-overdue item from the list. The best part? By clearing your To Do list, you make room for all of the new and exciting adventures that lie ahead!

Start Small with a Call

One of the reasons why big To Do list tasks often go undone is that they are too large to accomplish all in one go. By listing one big thing on our list like, “Do Estate Plan,” we are basically guaranteeing that we won’t act on that task. It takes too long, and the process is unknown. It’s like putting “Buy a House” on your list. What are the steps? Where do you even begin?

We’ve all heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” While this kind of gross metaphor always has me picturing a cartoon tying a napkin around his neck and licking his lips, the sentiment rings true. The only way to accomplish a big and unknown task is to break it down into small, actionable steps.

For estate planning, step one is making that first phone call. Get in contact with an attorney you connect with (through their social media, website, or articles), and set up an appointment. Don’t put anything more than that on your list! Keep it small and simple: Call Estate Planning Attorney. It takes about five minutes, and it is an easy way to make progress and put something in the “Win” column.

If you have connected with the attorneys here at Brian M. Douglas & Associates, through our Facebook Live streams, our blog posts, our e-newsletters, or even in person, feel free to give us a call! Our office phone number is (770) 933-9009. You’ll be done with step one and crossing it off your list in no time.

Complete the Attorney’s Intake Procedure

What’s step two? That’s the beauty of step one! Once you’ve called and spoken with an estate planning attorney, he or she will lay out a clear set of steps for you to follow through their intake procedure. Don’t group them together by writing “Complete documents for EP attorney” on your list! Keep steps small and actionable. At Brian M. Douglas & Associates, step two is to complete a questionnaire sent over by our team. At first, it may look a little intimidating, but don’t be daunted! It actually should take you less than an hour to complete, and it can even be broken down into micro-steps by putting each individual page on your To Do list. Complete one page a day with your favorite beverage of choice. Make it some quiet time just for you. Remember, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed or stressed. When that happens, nothing happens. Overwhelm is a sure-fire way to get nothing done. So keep the tasks small and don’t try to take on too much. You are a busy person! One page a day of the questionnaire. Then, a separate task on the To Do list for scanning and emailing it back to us.

Give Yourself Time for Your Meeting and Make it a Day!

Here it comes! The appointed day for your scheduled meeting with an estate planning attorney. Make sure that you have given yourself enough time to get to your meeting, so you aren’t rushing or thinking about a thousand things on your way over. Actually, we really recommend taking at least a half-day of self care on your attorney consultation meeting date — not because the meeting will take that long (it really shouldn’t take more than an hour) but so that you can build ease and relaxation into the day. You are finally doing something important and necessary that’s been simmering on the backburner for years. Reward yourself for that! Take yourself out to your favorite coffee shop with a good book. If you are bringing your partner along with you to the meeting, make it a date! Enjoy lunch together before or after your attorney meeting.

Sit Back, Relax, and Let Us Take it from Here

Once you’ve walked in the doors at Brian M. Douglas & Associates, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Let us take it from here! From now on, we will be guiding you through the estate planning process and doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. Of course, we want you to remain involved and engaged throughout the process, but that mostly means answering our emails and taking our calls to answer questions. We do all of our estate planning work on a flat-fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about racking up hourly bills or getting charged more if you want to ask questions and take your time. Just relax! Your estate plan is almost done, and your To Do list is already so much clearer. The next steps (returning to our office for a signing meeting and retrieving your executed documents) are simple, short, and very doable. Remember that we are here for you, so any kind of support you need to make this process easier, we want to provide. All you have to do is ask.

Take the First Bite by Making a Commitment to Yourself 

Often, there is a pre-step one that is the hardest task of all. It’s the one that comes before even making the phone call to set up an appointment with an attorney. The pre-step first task is just to make the commitment — to say to yourself, “I am going to complete my estate plan this spring.” If you are ready to take this first bite of the elephant, all of the rest of the steps will fall into place.

Ready for step one? Write it on your To Do list and get it done by the end of the day: give our office a call at (770) 933-9009 to get started.