I Want an Estate Plan but what Will It Cost?

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What Does Estate Planning Cost?

Estate planning is as an investment in the future of you and your family. Don’t think of the cost, because it is not a commodity that should be judged by price alone. The emphasis rather is on quality. Your specific investment will depend on many factors including the nature and extent of your assets, your personal goals and objectives, and the experience and qualifications of the attorney you select. The investment in a good estate plan is money well spent. Most people don’t think twice about spending thousands of dollars on an automobile, even though it is not worth a lot after a few years.

Good estate planning, on the other hand, yields benefits beyond your lifetime. Cost should be one concern but truly making sure you have a plan in place for your family and loved ones is crucial. It allows you to protect yourself and everything you own for the benefit of everyone you love. In addition, it is not uncommon for a good estate plan to save millions of dollars in taxes and administrative expenses for clients and their families.

What does a typical estate plan include?

Here are the essential estate planning documents many people need:

  • Will
  • HIPAA Authorization
  • Power of attorney for health care
  • Power of attorney for property
  • Revocable living trust
  • Irrevocable trust

The fees you pay will vary according to the complexity of your affairs. The price of estate plans can range from a few hundred dollars to $6,000 and more. Many law firms concentrating on estate planning charge flat-rate fees for basic estate plans, or at least provide a target range. Basic revocable living trusts may be included in a flat-fee estate planning package costing between $2,500 and $6,000. These living trusts help you bypass the costly and public probate process.

The only way to know for sure what your plan will cost is to consult with an estate planning attorney. Most will provide a fixed fee quote or a not-to-exceed cost established up front before any work begins, and many offer a free initial consultation so that you can get answers to your questions about cost and process before you spend any money.