My fees are competetive and clear. For estate plans there is set pricing and all other services are billed at an hourly rate of $250.00 per hour. See the information below for plan rates.
ESTATE PLANNING FEE SCHEDULE – 2023
One of the most frequently asked questions, and one of the biggest bones of contention, is the cost of creating an estate plan. When clients ask what to expect I tell them it all depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the estate, family dynamics that may require more detailed planning, tax considerations, etc. However, the fee schedule below is designed to give you a good idea of what your eventual costs will be.
INITIAL MEETING WITH NEW CLIENTS
There is generally no cost or obligation associated with the first hour of the initial meeting with a new estate planning client. The purpose is to eliminate the “cost” tension of the first meeting and to give you a better feel for whether or not you wish to utilize my services. The initial meeting is intended to acquaint you with the estate planning process and the concepts involved. If the meeting extends significantly beyond the first hour there may be a charge for the additional time. All clients receive a fee estimate before any service is performed.
2. INITIAL DRAFTING FEE
I use forms from a drafting program and these forms are reviewed on a yearly basis and are updated to keep them current. They are tailored to each client’s specific situation. An initial drafting fee is charged for the preparation of the initial draft of a particular type of plan. This “initial drafting fee” covers the basic documents of the particular plan. For example, basic documents covered by the initial drafting fee for a revocable living trust are the trust, pour over will(s), durable general power(s) of attorney, advance directive(s) for health care, a HIPAA representative appointment form and the initial letter sent with the drafts outlining their provisions. A schedule of the initial drafting fee for the various types of plans is at the end of this fee schedule. The fees on the schedules are only to give you an idea of what you may expect. The actual initial drafting charge will be agreed to before I begin work and you will receive an estimate in writing. Depending on the circumstances of your particular plan, the agreed initial drafting charge may vary from the fee schedule. This fee is collected at the draft review meeting.
3. HOURLY RATES
The initial drafting fee is only for the initial draft of a set of documents. It is NOT the total cost of the project. There is an additional hourly charge for any time after the preparation of the initial drafts needed to meet to answer questions, to fine tune the initial drafts and to meet to execute the documents once they are in final form. This charge is $250.00 per hour. There may also be additional charges for time spent assisting
you with the funding of a trust, or other services related to the administration of a Trust or estate. The total cost of a project is the initial drafting fee PLUS the time spent on any additional services. Once I have had a chance to talk to you and examine any existing documents you may have, I will generate a written fee estimate that clearly shows the expected costs of your estate plan project. There are instances when either a legal assistant or paralegal may work on your plan or estate related matter, in which case their time is billed as follows:
Legal Assistant - $40/hour
Paralegal - $165/hour
Note: all fees are billed to the tenth of an hour.
4. ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS AND COPIES
It is my policy that you hold the originals of your estate planning or other documents. This puts you in control should you move, or something happens to me. When finished, the executed originals and copies are mailed to you with a cover letter detailing any outstanding issues related to your estate plan. There is no charge for the first two copies of the documents, which is all most clients need. Copies on a thumb drive are available for a modest fee.
5. PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS
As a general rule I do not charge for short phone calls and e-mails relating to the services I am performing or have performed for you. This is to encourage you to contact me any time you have a question about your plan. I do not want the fear of receiving a bill for a phone call or short e-mail to keep you from asking a question. Naturally if research or additional work is required as a result of the contact, you will be billed for
this additional work at my hourly rate. I do, however, charge for phone calls and e-mails, regardless of time spent, for advice related to the administration of a trust as a result of the death of one of the parties or for matters concerning Small Estates or Probate.
The charges for the initial drafting of documents and plans are billed at the time the drafts are sent. Other distinct project segments will be billed at the time the services are provided. All other charges will be billed monthly. Outstanding balances more than 30 days overdue may be assessed an interest charge of 6% per month until paid. I hope that this outline of my billing procedures will help you to understand how the
charges associated with the services I perform for you are calculated. If at any time you have questions regarding fees or billing please let me know.
1. Single Individual B Simple - $450
2. Married Couple B Simple - $650
1. Single Individual B no estate tax provisions, or sub-Trust $1,050
2. Single Individual B no estate tax provisions, with sub-trust(s) for
delayed distribution to children or grandchildren $1,150
3. Married Couple B No estate tax provisions $1,250
4. Married Couple B No estate tax provisions, with trust(s) in wills for
delayed distribution to children, grandchildren, or others. $1,350
5. Married Couple B Disclaimer funded Decedent=s Trust optional split
on death of first to enable survivor to maximize estate and inheritance
tax credits of each spouse as needed with Sub-trust(s) for delayed
distribution to children or grandchildren. $1,550
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENT PREPARATION
1. Each Deed - $50
2. Each Miscellaneous Document - $50
(NOTE: Recording fees for a deed(s) are paid to the county where the deed is recorded.)
Please let me know if you have any questions about the costs associated with creating your plan or any other work that may be performed to assist you with your estate planning needs.