What Does An Attorney Charge For Estate Planning?
Depending on where you live and how complicated your household and monetary scenarios are, an attorney might charge anything from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars for a will and other fundamental estate planning documents.
How Lawyers Charge
Estate planning lawyers don’t all charge the same way. You may want to ask up front if you’re more comfortable with one way or another.
It’s extremely typical for a legal representative to charge a flat fee to compose a will and other fundamental estate planning files. The low end for a basic lawyer-drafted will is around $350. A cost of closer to $1,000 is more common, and it’s not uncommon to find a $1,200 cost.
Legal representatives like flat charges for a number of reasons. First, they can use types that they’ve currently composed—most estate planning attorneys have a set of standard clauses that they have composed for different circumstances, which they assemble into a will that first a brand-new customer’s needs. It will not take a legal representative much time to put your file together, but with a flat fee the legal representative can charge for his/her expertise and experience. A flat fee implies that they don’t need to keep detailed records of how they spend their time, either. It simplifies things.
Finally, some attorneys feel that a flat fee arrangement lets everyone relax and makes for a much better attorney-client relationship. You will not feel reluctant to call or email with a question, and the legal representative can take the time needed to listen to your concerns and describe things to you without seeming like the meter is running.
That stated, legal representatives don’t charge all of their clients the exact same flat fee. You’ll need to talk with a legal representative to discover what the expense will be for you—don’t expect to discover a list of rates on the legal representative’s site. A conscientious attorney does this not to hide the ball, but because it’s difficult to understand what you require without a conversation about your circumstances and desires. An excellent attorney will talk to you (on the phone or in person) prior to estimating you a rate.
Per Hour Billing
Some estate planning attorneys bill clients by the hour. The hourly rate will depend mostly on the lawyer’s experience and training, and where you live. In a small town, you might discover somebody who expenses at $175 per hour, but in a larger city, a rate of less than $400 per hour would be uncommon. Legal representatives in big companies typically charge greater rates than sole practitioners or small companies, unless a little firm is made up of attorneys who focus on sophisticated estate planning and tax matters. A legal representative who does not do anything but estate planning will probably charge more than a general practitioner, but should also be more knowledgeable and effective. (See information of per hour costs reported by estate planning lawyers around the nation)
If your lawyer utilizes less skilled lawyers (partners) or legal assistants (paralegals), their time needs to be billed at a lower per hour rate.
Numerous lawyers monitor and record their time in six-minute increments (one-tenth of an hour). That indicates that you’ll never ever be billed for less than six minutes’ of the legal representative’s time, even if the lawyer spends just 2 minutes on the phone with you.
The State Bar of Arizona publishes surveys of current attorney rates. You can find that survey here.
More Than A Will: Estate Planning Packages
Many people wind up paying an attorney for more than a basic will. Numerous legal representatives correctly encourage customers to make a couple of other estate planning documents in addition to a will. These often include:
Long Lasting Power Of Attorney For Financial Resources
Advance instruction (long lasting power of attorney for health care and living will — these might or might not be integrated into one document, depending on state law).
This is a great recommendation because every adult ought to have these durable powers of attorney. They provide someone the power to act on your behalf (always in your best interests) if you ought to become incapacitated — for example, because of a mishap or unexpected major disease. These can be complex documents, and numerous states have their own regulations regarding advance health instructions. Usually, advance care directives add a few hundred dollars to the bill.
A legal representative might also advise a living trust, which will let your family prevent the cost and hold-up of probate court after your death. Not everybody needs a living trust. It depends on individual circumstances and the probate costs in the state where you reside, how you own your real property, age, and other factors.
Legal representatives normally charge a lot more for a living trust than for a will, although a simple living trust is often a very basic document. It is unusual to see an attorney cost of less than $1,200 to $1,500 for a trust. There are differences in the way a trust is handled during probate in contrast to a trust. It is important that you understand those differences.
We Are Here to Help
Our legal team exhibits the compassion and empathy you deserve, as well as the experience that is vital to guiding each of our valued clients through the estate planning process. We consider all aspects of a client. After all, it is more than just about the property you leave behind — it is about your emotional attachment to that property and what it will mean to your beneficiaries and heirs after you are gone. You need an attorney who will listen to you closely and guide you each step of the way. This process ensures that you will make the best decisions about wealth planning and preservation, including the contents of your will, trust and other necessary estate planning documents.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment online.