How much is this all going to cost?
Our firm charges “flat fees” for estate planning services. We much prefer this method to billing hourly for our time, as flat fees promote efficiency and remove the uncertainty associated with hourly billing.
The rates we charge are based on the complexity of the matter, the market rates for similar planning, and the degree of specialization and sophistication required of the attorney to complete the planning.
A variety of scenarios might affect the complexity of a plan.
Factors that may affect the complexity of your plan:
- The number of intended beneficiaries (spouse, children, etc.) of your planning
- Whether your intended beneficiaries are minor children or adults
- Whether all intended beneficiaries will be treated the same, or if there will be different distributions to different beneficiaries (and the number of different distributions)
- Whether you have a spouse or partner with children from a prior relationship, or visa versa, for whom you wish to provide
- The types of assets you own (e.g. real property, investment accounts, insurance annuities, tax-deferred retirement accounts, business interests)
- How your assets are titled (individual, joint, or joint with right of survivorship)
- Whether you have property located out of state
- Whether you own a business or an interest in a business (e.g. an LLC, corporation, or partnership)
- Whether an intended beneficiary has special needs
- Whether an intended beneficiary requires provisions to protect his/her inheritance due to irresponsible money management or substance abuse
- Whether you wish to protect a spouse or partner’s inheritance should they remarry
- Whether you wish to protect a beneficiary’s inheritance in the case of divorce
- Whether there is a member of your family who may attempt to interfere with your planning
- Whether you are disinheriting a family member
- Whether you have a disability or anticipate a decline in your health in the near future
- Whether the size of your estate will cause gift or estate tax issues
Our non-attorney intake specialists are often asked to provide a fee range to potential new clients. The problem is that during your initial call, our intake specialist has no way of knowing how any of these factors might affect your plan and the cost thereof. It would be similar to you calling your car mechanic, telling them that you need your car repaired, and asking what it would cost. Your mechanic, of course, has to evaluate the situation first – which is exactly what our hour-long initial consultation is – a thorough evaluation of your situation.
Your initial consultation will not just include that evaluation, but also a comprehensive plan to address your goals as it relates to care for yourself should you become incapacitated, and the legacy you will leave those you love and care for most. Then, following the initial consultation, we can tell you exactly what the fee for your plan will be. Unlike with hourly billing, there will be no surprises.
What’s Included In An Estate Plan?
Almost all estate plans include:
- Last Will and Testament
- Power of Attorney for finances
- Healthcare Directive
Additional documents may include Trusts (Revocable or Irrevocable) and/or Property Deeds
Your estate plan also includes advice regarding how to title assets and designate beneficiaries on certain accounts.
As a final note, we believe that you will find our fees to be neither the highest in the market, nor the lowest. We pride ourselves in our efforts and commitment to using the best tools, resources, and continued education available to provide the highest level of service. We will craft our recommendations to ensure a positive client experience for you. We will price our services to allow for this process. Frankly, we care. A lot. Be assured that we continually evaluate our fees to ensure that they are reasonable and fair to our clients, without whom we could not do this work for which we are so passionate.