//Estate Planning Costs: What You Need To Know

Estate Planning Costs: What You Need To Know

We’ve talked on and on about why estate planning is essential. If you’ve read a few of our articles, hopefully, we’ve convinced you to go through this process.  But even after we’ve helped our clients understand why they should plan their estate, the how is where they get caught up sometimes. Specifically, what are the estate planning costs?

While we can’t give you a blanket number, we can explain how the cost is calculated. 

Estate Planning Costs Depend on the Situation

We first want to point out that every person’s situation is different. This means every estate plan is a little different, so the costs and complexity will vary. 

For example, let’s say a single man with no dependents and less than $20,000 of assets wants to plan his estate. He wants assurance that if something happened to him, his assets would be distributed the way he’d like them to be. 

This is different from a couple in their late thirties with three children and $100,000 in assets. This couple’s situation is a bit more complex, so more paperwork should be done to thoroughly plan out their estate. 

Finally, the other extreme is a very wealthy business owner with three children, nine grandchildren, a wife, and over $5M in assets. While a few estate planning tips for small business owners will help, their estate plan will require a lot of time to ensure it’s complete and bulletproof. 

That said, let’s talk about the types of costs you’ll see. 

Types of Estate Planning Costs

Flat fees are those involved with the most common types of estate plans. For example, an attorney may have a certain amount they always quote for a plan that includes 

  • A simple will
  • A POA for property and finances
  • A POA for medical issues and decisions
  • A living will
  • Guardianship appointments

Billable hours are exactly what they sound like. This is the hourly rate they charge you for every hour they spend working on your case. This involves all aspects of the work:

  • Thinking about your plan
  • Working on the paperwork for your plan
  • Meeting with you

Billable hours are common, especially if the attorney thinks your plan will be complicated and take a lot of time. 

Two Big Questions to Ask

When you meet with your attorney, we want to make sure you ask these two questions. 

  1. “Can I get it in writing?”

Before your attorney starts working on your plan, make sure you get it in writing! When something is documented, it can provide evidence of how the original agreement was worded. 

  1. “Who does the work?”

We’ve talked on and on about why estate planning is essential. If you’ve read a few of our articles, hopefully, we’ve convinced you to go through this process.

But even after we’ve helped our clients understand why they should plan their estate, the how is where they get caught up sometimes. Specifically the how much does estate planning cost question.

While we can’t give you a blanket number, we can explain how the cost is calculated.
Estate Planning Costs Depend on the Situation
We first want to point out that every person’s situation is different. This means every estate plan is a little different, so the costs and complexity will vary.

For example, let’s say a single man with no dependents and less than $20,000 of assets wants to plan his estate. He wants assurance that if something happened to him, his assets would be distributed the way he’d like them to be.

This is different from a couple in their late thirties with three children and $100,000 in assets. This couple’s situation is a bit more complex, so more paperwork should be done to thoroughly plan out their estate.

Finally, the other extreme is a very wealthy business owner with three children, nine grandchildren, a wife, and over $5M in assets. While a few estate planning tips for small business owners will help, their estate plan will require a lot of time to ensure it’s complete and bulletproof.

That said, let’s talk about the types of costs you’ll see.
Types of Estate Planning Costs

Flat fees are those involved with the most common types of estate plans. For example, an attorney may have a certain amount they always quote for a plan that includes
A simple will
A POA for property and finances
A POA for medical issues and decisions
A living will
Guardianship appointments

Billable hours are exactly what they sound like. This is the hourly rate they charge you for every hour they spend working on your case. This involves all aspects of the work:
Thinking about your plan
Working on the paperwork for your plan
Meeting with you

Billable hours are common, especially if the attorney thinks your plan will be complicated and take a lot of time.
Two Big Questions to Ask
When you meet with your attorney, we want to make sure you ask these two questions.

“Can I get it in writing?”

Before your attorney starts working on your plan, make sure you get it in writing! When something is documented, it can provide evidence of how the original agreement was worded.

“Who does the work?”

Just because you meet with an attorney doesn’t mean an attorney will be doing the actual work. If you work with a one-person operation, it would be whom you met with. But if you work with a larger firm, most of the work may be done by a junior attorney or paralegal.

The good news is that those staff members typically have lower rates!

Hopefully, this short article helped you understand how estate planning costs are calculated. If you have any questions, send us an email or give us a call at 714-663-8000, and we’ll be in touch soon!

Just because you meet with an attorney doesn’t mean an attorney will be doing the actual work. If you work with a one-person operation, it would be whom you met with. But if you work with a larger firm, most of the work may be done by a junior attorney or paralegal. 

The good news is that those staff members typically have lower rates!

Hopefully, this short article helped you understand how estate planning costs are calculated. If you have any questions, send us an email or give us a call at 714-663-8000, and we’ll be in touch soon!

By | 2022-11-28T13:32:19+00:00 November 28th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Estate Planning Costs: What You Need To Know