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How Much Does An Estate Planning Attorney Cost

How Much Does An Estate Planning Attorney Cost

Like most things, estate planning is very fact- and circumstance-specific (as much as the people who own the estates). There is no one-size-fits-all will or overall estate plan that works appropriately for everyone. It is hard to generalize the costs associated with estate planning for these reasons. No two people have the same financial assets or identical family circumstances.

What Can I Expect an Estate Planning Attorney to Charge?

That said, the minimal costs to hire an attorney to review your financial portfolio and family situation, as well as to prepare the proper legal documents for your estate, will cost approximately $800 to $1,800. Generally, these are flat fees. However, some trusts and estates attorneys prefer to charge hourly fees. So, it is important to know your particular trusts and estates attorney's billing structure in advance.

Of course, the costs associated with the creation of an estate plan can increase to $2,000 to $3,500, if not more, if you have more complex circumstances like multiple marriages, children by multiple marriages, extensive real estate in multiple jurisdictions or other such similar situations. These are basic estimations only and are not intended as absolute minimal fee structures for total start-to-finish estate planning costs.

What Will an Estate Planning Attorney Do for Me?

An estate planning tool kit consists of four basic components. Those pieces are the following:

  1. A will;
  2. A durable power of attorney;
  3. A living will or advanced medical directive; and
  4. A medical durable power of attorney, which is known as a health care proxy.

Of course, an estate plan can include other, more sophisticated and complementary tools, as well. For example, a party may prefer to have a trust, or use gifts to family members or charities, or purchase insurance, or combine other tools in their estate planning kit.

At the end of the day, an estate planning attorney can help you to achieve your long-term financial goals with regard to your estate. While employed, a properly organized and prepared estate plan can maximize your financial stability and security. Then, during retirement, in later life, the estate plan can continue to accomplish these very same goals. Of course, the plan will also provide for the distribution of your assets upon your death. Estate plans seek to accomplish this distribution, while simultaneously minimizing the taxes, costs and fees associated with the probate process.