Estate planning is an essential legal process for most people at some point or another in their lives. When you have considerable finances, a family, or a business, you should also have an estate plan. How much will it cost you to hire an attorney when you do decide to begin your estate plan, though? This question is really common among people of all ages who are making an estate plan, but the answer is not exactly straightforward.
Hiring an estate planning lawyer can have varying costs for a number of different reasons, such as:
- Complexity of your estate: People with relatively small estates or without specialized property can usually manage with a basic estate plan. The less work that needs to go into your estate plan, the less an attorney will usually charge for their services.
- Amount of estate planning tools you want to use: In many cases, estate planning attorneys will charge a client per estate planning tool they want to create or manage. For example, there could be a flat fee for a will, a trust, a power of attorney, and so on. The more tools you need to complete your estate plan, the more it will likely cost you.
- Experience of your attorney: It is usually more expensive to hire a professional with more experience and insight, as well as a better reputation among their peers and community. People who put in the work to become a recognized name are rewarded for it, after all. Therefore, you can expect to pay a little more for a highly experienced estate planning lawyer’s guidance than you would for an attorney who just passed the bar exam a month ago.
Per Service or Hourly Charges
Attorneys usually charge clients with one of two methods:
- Per service: Paying per service means you will pay an agreed-upon amount for each legal service rendered. As mentioned, needing more estate planning tools can cost you more if you are being charged per service. For example, you agree to pay $250 for a will and $250 for a trust*, bringing your total to $500.
- Hourly: Some attorneys offer their legal services using an hourly rate, which means you pay an agreed-upon rate for each hour that they have to devote to working on your case. For example, you agree to pay an hourly rate of $100*, and it takes your attorney 10 hours to finish your complex estate plan. In this scenario, you would pay $1,000 for everything.
(* Please keep in mind that these dollar values are purely estimations for the purpose of these examples. The rates and fees an attorney decides to charge for their services could be much different.)
Honest Rates & Friendly Service
Ball, Kirk & Holm in Waterloo and Iowa City is proud to offer excellent estate planning services to locals at fair rates and prices. We can explain our prices in detail before you agree to hire us for your case or to draft pieces of an estate plan for you. We want you to feel confident that you are getting great value for our work because you are not just a client at our firm, you are also a friend and neighbor!
Contact us now to talk about your estate plan and our services.