Private Client - Preventative Law Program

Traditionally, a transactional attorney was engaged under a long-term retainer arrangement and acted as family friend, consultant, and negotiator on all sorts of matters relating to the law. The traditional retainer assured the availability of the attorney and prevented him or her from acting on behalf of an adversary. Unfortunately, nowadays many clients do not seek legal advice until they have a problem. Often, clients perceive lawyers as the last resort solution - after something goes wrong.

Just as some doctors practice preventative medicine to avoid future medical problems, at Thomas A. Moseley, Chartered we practice preventative law to avoid future legal problems. We believe in the old cliche “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The time to protect your assets and your children’s inheritance is before a problem develops. The time to properly plan an estate is before you die or become incompetent and family disputes arise. The time to make a smart real estate, mortgage or business decision is before refinancing, buying or selling, before problems arise or before a foreclosure is filed. The practice of preventative law is similar to the traditional legal practice of transactional attorneys.

For high net worth clients and other private individuals and families who desire a higher level of personal service and attention or who need careful coordination of their personal and business activities, we have created the Preventative Law Program for Private Clients. The Preventative Law Program allows our firm to better understand your relational and financial needs and desires and to structure your legal affairs in a way to lessen or prevent problems from arising. A major goal of the program is to eliminate disputes and to thereby improve marital, family and business relations.

The Preventative Law Program creates a long term retainer arrangement for a limited number of clients. For 2009 the annual non-refundable retainer options are a $2,100.00 retainer, a $4,100.00 retainer or a $6,000.00 retainer. The retainer is non-refundable in order to encourage clients to seek legal advice before problems develop. We believe that if you have paid the retainer, you will use the services. In exchange for paying this retainer, you will receive the following benefits:

  • You will become a Private Client with an attorney “on retainer” which insures and secures our future legal services and thus insures we will not render services to an adverse party
  • Priority for appointments
  • The ability to call in for One Quick Answer (a question that requires a “5 minute answer”) as needed without being billed for the calls
  • Not being billed for ordinary copies, postage, long distance phone calls or facsimiles. Express delivery, certified mail, packages, computerized research or extraordinary copies and out-of-pocket expenses will be billed.
  • Priority for return telephone calls. Calls received before 11:00 am will be returned the same business day. All others will usually be returned the same day, but no later than the next business morning


  • All hourly fee legal services incurred in 2009 can be applied against the $2,1000.00 retainer at the rate of $210.00 per hour; the $4,100.00 retainer at $205.00 per hour; and the $6,000.00 retainer at $200.00 per hour. Mr. Moseley’s normal hourly rate is currently $250.00
  • All flat fee legal services incurred in 2009 can be applied against the retainer at 90 percent of the normal flat fee rate
  • All hourly fees for paralegal services incurred in 2009 can be applied against the retainer at 90 percent of the normal rate
  • Since title insurance rates are regulated by the state, title insurance rates cannot be reduced when applied against the retainer

Any non-refundable retainer paid for the Preventative Law Program after February will be prorated by calendar month, but will not entitle you to the reduced fees.

Clients are encouraged to use their retainer in a proactive rather than a reactive manner. Our firm provides not only crisis management, but also crisis prevention. To prevent crisis we have expanded our legal services to include:

Wealth Protection Screening - An asset and liability evaluation which classifies your assets as exempt, immune or at risk and your income as exempt or at risk to determine whether further wealth protection planning is needed.

Wealth Protection Profile – Easy to understand 30 page report which includes the Wealth Protection Screening together with wealth protection strategies for your assets, liabilities and income.

Personal Wealth Protection Plan - Personal plan which uses the Wealth Protection Profile to recommend wealth protection strategies specific to your assets, liabilities and income after a review of your deeds, liabilities, insurance policies and other relevant asset and liability documentation

Family Problem Prevention Screening - Easy to understand report that identifies potential family problems including second marriages, dependent children, disabled children, addiction issues, aging parents and in-law relations, together with strategies to deal with these problems.

Second Marriage Planning - Personal Plan which uses the Family Problem Prevention Assessment to recommend planning strategies to deal with your specific situation. The goal of the plan is to minimize the disputes between family members and the surviving spouse.

Half Day Annual Client Review - Up to a 4 hour planning session with all of your advisors such as your accountant, insurance agent, investment advisor etc. to coordinate all planning.

Stay-at-Home Planning - Over 85 percent of all adults want to stay in their own home when they can no longer care for themselves. Unfortunately, most people do not properly plan to stay at home and government programs do little to help. Planning should begin when you are in your 50's with what we call our Pre-need Plan. We can also assist with planning when the need for care is imminent such as at the time of an initial diagnosis of Alzheimer. Planning is also available once long term care becomes necessary.

Business Succession Planning - One of the major concerns of business owners is the survival of their business after their death; particularly a family business. The choice of the proper succession plan is essential to the survival of a family business. Issues regarding the proper role of insiders (people involved in running the business) and outsiders (people not involved in running the business) is critical. Equalization of the share of the estate between family insiders and family outsiders can also be important.

Mortgage Rate and Payment Selection - Even after the current mortgage crisis lenders do not always act in the best interest of the borrower. Our Rate and Payment Selection Form (RAPS) assures that you select the best mortgage for your circumstances at the lowest cost. It is important in making a smart mortgage decision to understand the difference between Lender Fees and Third Party and Governmental Fees charged by everyone. We assure that a borrower understands their mortgage choices and makes a smart mortgage decision.

Refinance Breakeven Analysis - Clients often ask when they should refinance their mortgage to payoff one or more existing mortgages, credit cards or other loans. A Refinance Breakeven Analysis allows you to make that decision with confidence by calculating the number of months it will take you to breakeven after paying closing costs and reamortizing your loans. You will also know the total cost or savings over the life of the loan or any other period you select. The decrease or increase in monthly payments will also be shown.

Our private client services also include sophisticated personal estate planning, probate and trust administration, and related legal services for family and individual clients, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Will and Trust Preparation
  • Closely-held Businesses; Estate, Gift, Generation-skipping and Income Tax Advice
  • Life Insurance Advice
  • Charitable Foundations and Trusts
  • Will, Estate and Trust Litigation
  • Marital Agreements
  • Generation-skipping and Dynasty Trust Tax Planning
  • Estate and Trust Administration
  • Irrevocable Insurance Trusts
  • Retirement Benefit Planning
  • Guardianships/conservatorships
  • Real Estate Closings
  • Mortgage Financing and Advice