Determining your estate plan cost hinges on a number of factors from whom you hire to what specific documents will be required. Unfortunately, many Americans have yet to make these items a priority with just 42 percent acknowledging they have one in place.
Sadly, those numbers become even more abysmal for parents with children (the people likely to need them most!).
In the following article, we’ll be discussing the factors that go into determining the average cost. Learn each one, and you’ll be prepared to get yours in place!
Determine the Documents You Will Require
The cost of estate planning depends largely on the types of documentation that your plan will require. Individuals with limited possessions may wish to stay with a simple last will and testament while those with complex assets may wish to invoke a living trust (or trust).
Take Advantage of the Free Consultation
Before submitting to whatever the estate planning cost is, make sure you’ve taken the time to meet with the attorney face-to-face, so he or she can explain the full scope of your services. This also is a great time to get some preliminary guidance on what the best course of action is for your financial situation and beneficiaries.
Learn the Fee Structure
The fee structure of an attorney is another important factor in determining answers to the question of how much does estate planning cost. Some attorneys will offer package deals for their most commonly purchased estate planning products while others work on a flat hourly rate. The final costs vary wildly.
Check the Market Area
Another factor in determining how much does a will cost is the market area in which you are living. Attorneys are not cheap, but they also know the economic situation of their geographic location.
That said, you can still expect hourly rates to be all over the place. That means anywhere from $150 to $300 per hour or more depending on the attorney’s experience, reputation, existing workload, and level of complexity required.
Factor in Following up
Finally, life is not stationary. Beneficiaries may die unexpectedly or life situations like divorce may cause you to rethink to whom you are willing to leave your assets.
What will an estate planning lawyer charge for those revisions? The cost of follow-up should be expected and factored into your estate planning needs as you work to finalize the provisions.
One Last Thing Regarding Payment Terms
Hiring an attorney may never be cheap, but it can be completely worth it. That’s particularly true when it comes to the peace of mind of being able to know your affairs will be taken care of in the event of your passing.
If you do experience financial limitations in paying for an attorney, discuss your concerns with the attorney during the consultation. He or she should be able to give you an idea of whether flexible payment terms are offered. Most do.
Determining Estate Plan Cost Is Complex
As you can see, determining the final estate plan cost can be a guessing game. Using a free consultation to your advantage and understanding what you need specifically for taking care of your loved ones will take out much of the guesswork.
For further legal advice and tips, check out some of our additional posts!