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How Much Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Normally Charge?

How Much Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Normally Charge?

October 6, 2022

By Johnson/Turner Legal

How Much Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Normally Charge?

October 6, 2022

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Before you hire an estate planning lawyer, you should understand how their fees work. Keep reading to learn more about the average cost.

If you’re a working adult, an estate plan is absolutely necessary. Despite this, approximately 60 percent of Americans don’t have a will. The best way to remedy this situation is, of course, to get in touch with an estate planning lawyer to help you get started.

The biggest thing that keeps people from writing a will is the legal fees associated with having a professional do it for you. You don’t have to be in the dark when it comes to the costs associated with estate planning, though. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how attorneys charge for their services!

What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?

When you think about estate planning, the first thing that comes to mind is probably writing a will. While that is definitely one of the services that an estate planning lawyer provides, there are a number of different ways they can help you plan for the future. The following are examples of services you can ask for.

Create a Will

A will is a legal document that goes into effect after your death. It specifies how you want your assets to be distributed, and, if applicable, who should care for your minor children.

Wills are important because, without them, your heirs determine how your assets should be distributed. They also save a lot of time and emotional stress on your heirs from having to make those decisions.

Draft a Living Trust

A living trust is a trust that you create while you’re living that goes into effect when you pass away. In general, trusts are preferred over wills because they do not have to go through probate like a will does. Living trusts are only used for property, however, and they cannot be used to determine who gets to care for minor children.

Create an Estate Plan

More often than not, an estate plan is a mixture of different types of documents that is tailored to meet your individual needs. This might mean having both a will and a living trust, in addition to other types of documents. Your attorney will listen to your concerns and create a customized plan that best addresses them.

How Do Attorneys Charge for Their Services?

You know that there are a wide variety of services that estate planning attorneys offer their clients. The biggest question potential clients have is, “how much is it going to cost?” There’s not a single answer that applies to all attorneys that work in estate planning, but there are a couple of methods that they use for billing.

Some people have very complex needs when it comes to estate planning. They might have minor children, several family businesses, as well as a number of assets.

If your estate planning needs are relatively straightforward, then a flat-rate or package deal might work for you. In these instances, you’ll have a consultation with an attorney, and they’ll determine the type of estate plan that you need. If they feel that the situation is right, then they might offer to complete your estate plan for a flat rate.

A 2016 report from LexisNexis found that nearly 7 in 10 clients on fixed fees said they would ‘wholeheartedly’ recommend their lawyer, compared with 45% of those on hourly fees. This predictability means there are no surprises for clients when the final fee is invoiced.

With fixed fee billing, the focus is on value rather than billable hours, which aligns with the interest of the client and the law firm. Lawyers are encouraged to work efficiently to add as much value to the client’s case as they can. In a word, fixed fee pricing encourages problem solving.

What Goes Into What an Estate Planning Lawyer Charges?

You know that attorneys charge either a flat rate or by the hour for their services, but how do they determine how much to charge for their legal fees?

There are a few factors that go into it. Attorneys with more experience typically charge more for their services than attorneys who are newer to the field of estate planning. You can also expect to pay more for attorneys located in major metropolitan areas than for those in smaller towns.

With those factors in mind, you can safely expect to pay up to $350 per hour for a highly-complex estate plan with an experienced attorney in a major metropolitan area. If your needs are simple, however, you may be able to have your estate planning needs handled for a few hundred dollars.

How Do You Know What You’ll Pay?

The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for your estate plan is to set up a consultation with an estate planning lawyer. Your attorney will go over your needs and give you an idea of the documents that you need to be fully covered. They will tell you whether it’ll cost a flat rate or if you’ll need to pay hourly.

Once you find an attorney that works for you, ask for them to create a contract that stipulates the terms of the estate planning process.

Are You in Need of an Estate Planning Lawyer?

If you have any assets in your name, then you know that having an estate plan is a necessity, even if you still have a lot of life to live. What you’ll pay your estate planning lawyer depends largely on the complexity of your estate plan. Don’t be afraid to schedule a consultation to get a better idea of how much your lawyer will charge you.

Are you in need of an experienced estate planning attorney in the Twin Cities area? You’ve come to the right place. Contact Johnson/Turner Legal today to learn how we can help you with the estate planning process!



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