New Clients

Estate Planning Protocol

Thank you for selecting the South Carolina law firm, Ruff & Ruff, to assist you. Our Estate Planning Appointment Protocol is a three-step process, as follows:


Step 1: Questionnaire

Once your initial appointment is scheduled, you will receive our Questionnaire either in the US mail or as an email attachment. Alternatively, you may download the Questionnaire directly from this website via the link below. Please return the Questionnaire at least 2 days before your initial appointment.


Click on this link to download our Questionnaire.

Note: This download requires Adobe Reader. You may download the latest version of Reader for free by visiting

If you have difficulties with this download, please call the office at  843-524-5400 for assistance.


Step 2: Initial Appointment

During our initial appointment, we will get to know you and your family, and we will review your responses on, and other information you provided in, the Questionnaire, both clarifying and supplementing as needed. We will give you our opinion regarding (1) whether we may be able to assist you, (2) the planning alternatives we would recommend to meet your objectives, and (3) the fees associated for the various planning alternatives.


Step 3: Engagement Agreement

If you choose to retain our services to implement the planning alternatives you select, then you would sign an Engagement Agreement detailing the services to be provided and the fees. We then would proceed to the design phase of your planning, in which we will provide specific, personal legal advice unique to your objectives, to include a detailed explanation and diagram of your planning alternatives. You also would pay one-half (1/2) of the total planning fees to bind the Engagement Agreement at that time, and we would schedule an appointment to both review and sign your legal documents. The balance of the fees would be due and payable when the legal documents are ready for signing.


Assuming we have received your completed Questionnaire, expect to receive a courtesy phone call reminder from our office the business day before your initial appointment. If you need to reschedule your appointment, please contact us immediately so that we may open your scheduled appointment time and date to our other clients.


While it would be helpful, there is no need to go on a “treasure hunt” at this point for financial or legal documents, stock certificates or insurance policies. Sometimes we find clients procrastinate in getting their planning done because they cannot locate, or do not have time to locate, all of these documents. In reality, these documents may not be needed until after you make your planning alternative selection. On the other hand, make sure you spend the time before your appointment contemplating the Three P’s of Estate Planning.