Panic-Free Planning Workshops

Our workshops are an easy, affordable way to make important decisions. By the end of our Workshop, you will have a valid Will, a Financial Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive, all completed with the help and guidance of experienced estate planning attorneys. To find out more about our Workshops, please read the Additional Workshop Information below.  If you still have questions, please email us at

We are currently offering individual workshops virtually, via Zoom or telephone conference. This page will be updated when we begin conducting group, in-person Workshops again.The virtual workshops are identical in substance and in process to our group workshops, and we will provide you with detailed instructions for having your documents witnessed and notarized. If you have questions, please email us at

Additional Workshop Information
You’ll have some homework to do before the Panic-Free Planning Workshop – a little bit of reading and a questionnaire to complete. You won’t have to make all of your decisions before you arrive, but you’ll need to narrow things down to a few options.

At the Workshop, we’ll give a presentation about estate planning and about the documents we’ll be working on together. With our help, everyone will complete their documents by filling in the necessary blanks. We’ll be there to answer questions and help you to finalize your decisions. Then we will lead everyone through the process of signing the documents. Participants will be asked to serve as witnesses for one another’s Wills and we will notarize the Powers of Attorney. After the Workshop, we will send your original documents to you after we’ve have made copies for our files. Then you can go about your life, panic-free. Or at least with one less thing to panic about. Please keep in mind that by attending a Workshop you will become a client of Spears & Shelf, LLP.

The documents we will complete at the Panic-free Planning Workshop are for the most part documents that are available to the general public at low or no cost. These are basic documents that will not contain all of the bells and whistles of an in-depth, customized plan. BUT, by completing these documents at a Panic-Free Planning Session you are getting our advice and guidance in completing these documents, and you are getting it done.

Who is right for this plan?
Really anyone can benefit from getting basic documents in place – something is better than nothing, right? However, if you don’t have a Will in place, the difference between something and nothing is particularly important if you have life partner who is not your spouse or registered domestic partner or if you are a parent of young children (or both!)

If you have children with another adult who is not your current partner, if you have any special needs children, or if you have dependents other than your spouse/partner and your children you should check with us first to see if we can accomplish your basic planning goals with the Workshop documents, or whether we should work on a more customized plan for you.

How much does it cost?
The cost is $250 per person or $380 per couple.

If you decide, after completing documents at a Panic-Free Planning Workshop, that you want a more in-depth, customized estate plan, we will be happy to work with you on that plan. If you hire us within two years of attending a Workshop, we will credit the amount you already paid for the Workshop Plan toward the cost of your new documents.

The Workshop Plan provides:
+ A Will, a financial Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive. These three documents will address management of your money, and arranging for the care of your minor children, in the event of incapacity or death. We will also give you basic tips for life insurance and retirement beneficiary designations.
+ Peace of mind. You did it. You may not have the fanciest estate plan but you have something. Here, something is better than nothing.
+ The advice of experienced and compassionate estate planning attorneys; you are mostly doing it yourself, but we will make sure you are doing it right.
The Workshop Plan does not provide:
– A customized estate plan – you will instead receive a one-size fits many plan.
– Probate Avoidance – this plan does NOT include a Revocable (Living) Trust. We will, however, advise you on what you can do to stay out of probate court as much as possible without a revocable trust.
– Complete one-on-one advice and a guarantee of confidentiality. This is a group event, some of your laundry will inevitably be aired or overheard. We will make every effort to create a private space at each Workshop for confidential questions.