Cost of Estate Planning Lawyer on Average- What You Should Know
Are you curious about the cost of estate planning lawyer on average and what you should expect? Read on and learn more here.
Developing a plan for the management of your estate after you pass on is a grim but necessary endeavor. Currently, a little less than half of American adults have a last will and testament in place.
Estate planning can be a difficult affair, and the larger your family is, the harder it becomes. For this reason, many people enlist legal aid to help navigate them through the process.
Everyone can benefit from working with an estate planning lawyer. No matter how wealthy you are or how you plan to distribute your assets upon your death, you shouldn't be deterred by the cost of estate planning lawyer bills.
Take a look at some of the most common attorney billing practices regarding estate planning.
Initial Consultation - Free or Paid
Expect to pay a fee when you have your first meeting with your estate planning lawyer. This fee usually depends on your attorney's experience, and typically will cost you $300 to $500. Fortunately, many law firms will deduct this fee from the total cost of their services.
Some firms won't charge an initial consultation fee and they will offer a free initial consultation. That gives you the opportunity to meet the attorney and see if it is a good fit. A free initial consultation is usually not for free legal advice. The free initial consultation is for the attorney to access also if they can help you.
You can always inquire about the fee before you set up the consultation, we strongly advise you to do that. Pricing transparency is a big part of a good client experience.
The Flat Fee
After the initial meeting, your lawyer will be able to outline their plan for your estate. For straight forward estate plans, attorneys use the flat fee structure. The flat fee will cover the entirety of your estate planning.
The flat fee package includes the most common estate planning items, like drafting a simple will and a living will, establishing powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions, and establishing guardianship for minors. Most flat fee packages will also include a deed for one property. The deed is usually used to fund a trust or to define beneficiaries for the property.
Your attorney will work out the cost of your flat fee arrangement by determining the number of hours they think they'll spend on your estate plan and then applying their hourly rate. These plans can cost between $2,500 and $5,000 depending on the complexity of your situation. There is usually an add on for married couples, which varies between $300 and $1,000 depending of the circumstances.
The Hourly Rate Structure
Some estate plans won't fit neatly within a flat fee structure. This could be situations with multiple spouses, multiple children, or an abundance of assets to distribute.
In these instances, your estate planning attorney will charge a retainer fee, essentially a down-payment to continue working with them, and then bill you based on their hourly rate.
Hourly rates vary based on your lawyer's experience. On the low end, they'll bill around $300 per hour. Of course, high-quality lawyers with years of experience will charge much more, typically between $400 and $600 per hour. Although a lower hourly rate can look more attractive a less experienced attorney may need more hours to accomplish the work needed.
Discuss the Cost of Estate Planning Lawyer Fees in Advance
During your initial consultation, where your lawyer outlines your estate plan, you should get a breakdown of their fees. You'll likely want to get this in writing. Attorneys should provide the cost in their engagement letter.
You should note, however, that opting for a less expensive lawyer may be a detriment to your estate. You want someone with years of experience in estate planning law, and that experience comes at a price.
Estate Planning in Chandler, AZ
Now that you understand the most common billing structures, you should realize you have nothing to worry about regarding the cost of estate planning lawyer fees.
Simple estate plans can be covered by flat fee payment. For other, more complex arrangements, your attorney will bill you by the hour. At Citadel Law Firm we try to offer flat fee plans as much as possible. We are happy to provide prices upfront, even before you schedule your free initial consultation to talk to one of our attorneys.
If you're located in Chandler, Arizona or any of the surrounding cities, get in touch with our law firm today. Our decorated law firm will help guide you and your family through the difficult and confusing process of estate planning. You can schedule a free initial consultation by clicking here or by calling (480)565-8020.