1. What is the purpose of an initial consultation?
An initial consultation is a fact-finding mission. The purpose is for us (a) to learn about you and your particular legal needs; (b) to answer your questions to the best of our ability; (c) to identify your options and, to the extent possible, analyze the costs and benefits of those alternatives; (d) to discuss our fees and terms of representation if an attorney-client relationship is to be established after the meeting; (e) to determine whether it would be a good mutual fit for us to work together; and (f) to discuss the next steps in the process, as appropriate.
2. Do I need to sign a contract before the initial consultation?
We require that an Initial Consultation Agreement be signed before the appointment is confirmed.
3. Do you keep the information I share during the initial consultation confidential?
During the initial consultation, you agree to be truthful and cooperative. All information and documents that you provide to use at the initial consultation shall remain strictly confidential, whether or not you decide to retain us to provide legal services, except as authorized by you or otherwise provided under the California Rules of Professional Conduct.
4. Do you offer legal opinions during the initial consultation?
It is impossible to fully assess a matter within the time frame allotted for the initial consultation or with the information or documents that you provide at the initial consultation. We may not be able to provide specific answers to your questions without doing further research. You should not rely upon any opinions provided by us during the initial consultation concerning any legal matter.
5. Will attorney-client relationship be established as a result of the initial consultation?
No attorney-client relationship is intended to be established by the initial consultation. The initial consultation is a limited scope service provided by us to help you determine whether you may want to retain us to provide legal services. At the conclusion of the initial consultation, there is no obligation for you to retain us, nor do we have an obligation to provide services to you, unless mutually agreed.
6. Following the initial consultation, if I want to retain Yuan Law Firm APC, do we need to sign a contract?
Yes. Following the initial consultation, if you agree to retain us, and if we agree to provide services to you, then we will prepare a separate, more detailed Attorney-Client Fee Agreement. This Fee Agreement will include the terms and conditions of our representation of you, including our fees and the specific services to be performed by us.
7. Is the initial consultation free of charge?
For U.S. estate planning clients only – The first 30 minutes of the initial consultation will be provided to you free of charge. If the initial consultation lasts longer than 30 minutes, the additional time will be charged at our standard hourly rate. Payment of these charges must be made at the conclusion of the initial consultation meeting. However, if you agree to retain us to provide legal services and if we agree to provide said legal services on a flat-fee basis (applicable to most estate planning engagements), any additional Cost of Initial Consultation will be credited back to your account.
8. Can I have more than one complimentary consultation?
Only one complimentary consultation will be provided.
9. Can I record the consultation so that I can listen/view later?
Audio or video recording the consultation is prohibited. Pursuant to California law, it is illegal for an individual to monitor or record a “confidential communication” unless all parties to the conversation consent to the recording, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device.
10. Who should attend the initial consultation?
If you are married or have a “significant other,” I encourage that both of you attend the meeting. If you have adult children or other family members, it is up to you to decide whether you wish to include them in your planning at this early stage. In general, I do not suggest that they attend this first meeting.
11. How to prepare for the initial consultation?
i. Review and sign the Initial Consultation Agreement. It will be sent to you after the appointment is made.
ii. Complete the Estate Planning Worksheet (fillable PDF format). It will be sent to you after the Initial Consultation Agreement has been signed. To help you get the most out of the meeting, please complete the form to the best of your abilities. Please return the completed worksheet to our office at least three days before your appointment. You may email it as an attachment, or print it and mail us the paper copy.
iii. Review our Estate Planning Process.
12. What to bring to the initial consultation?
i. Your existing estate planning documents to the meeting e.g. Last Will and Testament, Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive.
ii. Divorce decree from a prior marriage, pre-nuptial agreement, or post-nuptial agreement. Sometimes, the terms of these agreements may have an impact on your estate planning strategies.
13. Where are your offices?
We have two locations: Mountain View and Sunnyvale. All meetings are held at the Sunnyvale office. The address is 640 W. California Ave., Suite 210, Sunnyvale, California. If you prefer to meet at our Mountain View office, please let us know.
14. Do you offer free parking?
Yes. Please park at one of the designated “Visitor Parking” spaces in front of the building. – see below. Other parking spaces are permit parking only.
15. Is there access to an elevator?
The stairs to the second floor are in the building lobby. The elevator can be accessed via the side entrance – see below:
16. What if I need to reschedule the initial consultation?
We understand that there are many uncertainties in life. If something comes up and you need to reschedule the appointment, please let us know at least 24 hours before the meeting.