What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy and well-known. You still need a plan, even if you don’t have a six-figure net worth, own your home, or have dependent children. At its most basic, estate planning is a compilation of legal agreements. This specifies what will happen in the case of your incapacity and ultimately upon your death. So, what does estate planning cost?
If something wrong occurs, it is best to be prepared in advance. You can’t just assume that your husband, partner, or children will inherit your possessions when you leave. If you pass away without a will, the probate court will decide who receives your possessions because laws differ by state.
Services and Cost of a DIY Provider
Depending on your demands, DIY estate planning can cost you as little as your time and printing a few hundred dollars worth of documentation.
Legal forms are widely available online, including a will, a general power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, and a living will or health proxy. Some might also offer legal counsel and trust documentation.
You can buy particular documents or services or sign up as a member to receive further advantages.
You may be curious about current estate planning fees if you don’t have a will or if it’s been a while since yours was drafted. Unfortunately, comparing legal bills online is not as simple as shopping for new shoes while looking for legal assistance.
Planning your estate doesn’t have to be expensive. For instance, Michigan offers a free online will planning tool that you can use. In addition, you can use various trustworthy online resources and do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning books to create a simple estate plan.
However, remember that the legal system is composed of a complex web of estate planning regulations that might be difficult to comprehend.
Many today receive assistance from DIY service providers to prevent dying “intestate” or without a will. But these same do-it-yourself services may give you and your family a false sense of security, which might cost much more in the long run.
A lawyer can ensure that your legal documents are error-free. A lawyer may be more expensive up front, but they will save you and your heirs a lot of money and pain in the long run by guiding you through the probate procedure.
What is the cost of estate planning?
The services and potential costs for estate planning with a lawyer or a do-it-yourself service are listed below.
Here are a few well-known vendors:
1. Use Your Own Free Will – Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Trust, and more are offered by Gentreo, and a $99 plan includes digital storage.
2. Will start at $89, while living trusts begin at $279, according to Legal Zoom.
3. Wills cost $159 for single people and $259 for married couples; a living trust costs $599 for single people and $699 for married people.
4. Wills start at $39 on US Legal Wills, although Living Trusts are not offered.
Going the DIY approach can be better than having no estate plan for simple planning requirements, but it is not without danger. Still, if you want further assurance when using DIY paperwork, consider paying a local attorney to review them.
Services and Fees of an Estate Planning Professional
Your overall charges will vary depending on how simple or complicated your scenario is. For example, you might spend between $200 and $500 if you only need a straightforward will and powers of attorney.
Prices for plans incorporating a trust document might start at roughly $1,000, with attorney fees for sophisticated programs reaching $5,000 or more.
A consultation charge, a flat fee, or an hourly rate are typically used to determine how much it will cost to hire an estate planner.
1. Fee for Consultation
The majority of attorneys won’t demand payment upfront for a consultation. The initial meeting could take place in person or over the phone. The lawyer will learn more about your financial and family position during the session to establish your estate planning needs. Don’t count on this phone conversation to reveal much. The estate planning process is intricate and cannot be completed in a single 30- to 60-minute meeting.
2. Flat rate
The most typical fee arrangement attorneys use for estate planning is a flat rate. No matter how often you call or email with a query, you’ll always pay the same amount at a flat rate. The lawyer can go through everything with you without worrying about time running out, and you’ll feel more at ease knowing there won’t be a surprise bill in the mail.
3. Hourly Rate
To create a strategy, some attorneys will bill you by the hour. Hourly rates may differ. With typical prices at $250 per hour, higher in some places. You may find lawyers who charge anything from $150 per hour to $350 or more. It’s a good idea to compare attorneys before choosing one. Even in the exact location, you might be shocked by how diverse lawyer prices can be.