Should You Hire an Estate Planning Attorney to Write A Will?
Advantages of Hiring an Attorney to Draft a Will for Your Estate
There are many advantages of using an experienced estate planning & elder law attorney to draft your Last Will and Testament. It is good to know the legality of your Will is guaranteed. An estate planning attorney is an effective way to get a valid Will in writing. You can rest assured that your Will is enforceable and your wishes will be carried out.
Many people correlate hiring an attorney to expensive services, but this is not the case. Different attorneys have different ways of charging for their professional services. It does not cost a lot to write your Will. We have compiled a list of different ways to be charged for legal representation. There are also helpful ideas about how much you might be charged.
Ways That Attorneys Charge for Writing Your Will
There are several ways for an estate planning attorney to charge for writing your will. Some attorneys charge a flat rate, others charge hourly, and others offer package deals. Once you have determined how your attorney charges, you can assess your will’s cost. Another way is to decide which method will work best for you. After that, you can find an attorney who charges in that manner. Whichever way you choose, be sure you are comfortable with your estate planning attorney and that you hire the attorney you are comfortable with.
Attorney Flat Rate Charges for Writing Your Will
One of the most common ways estate planning attorneys charge for will writing is by charging a flat fee. Typically the process includes writing the will and completing related paperwork. Only some clients will have the same flat rate. The rate the attorney will charge will be based on the size of your estate and your lawyer’s estimate of the amount of time it will take them to complete the task.
The amount you can expect to pay will vary based on several factors. The advantages are for your sake & the attorney’s sake. Attorneys like this method of billing because it allows them to use some standard forms that they can customize to each situation. They save paperwork preparation and documentation time.
For a client, a flat rate fee can have advantages as well. If you have questions or concerns about your will, you can call your attorney without considering how much it will cost. Other billing methods may have clients almost reluctant to call about questions or concerns. They are hesitant because they don’t want the fees to get too high. With flat fees, you know what you are paying in advance.
Although you will know what your bill will be in advance, you will need to have a conversation with your potential estate planning attorney to find out what it will be. It will be hard to find an attorney who will have fees posted on a website or who will give over-the-phone quotes. The reason for this is that each case is different. It would be irresponsible for an attorney to lead a client in the wrong direction.
Hourly Attorney Fees to Write a Will
Another common way that estate planning attorneys charge for writing a last will and testament is by charging by the hour. With this billing method, the client pays the attorney for exactly how much time is spent writing their will. The attorney would charge for drawing up documents, necessary phone calls, and all other time spent on will-related activities.
What your attorney charges per hour is based on several factors. One basis for what they charge is their experience. The more experience an estate planning attorney has, the faster they will be at preparing your documents, but the more they will charge on an hourly basis. Another factor is where the attorney practices. Some rural attorneys charge less than metropolitan-based attorneys. What type of firm you hire may also affect the hourly rate. If you hire a large law firm, you may pay more than a firm with fewer attorneys.
It would be likely to expect to pay anywhere from $250-$400 an hour based on experience, location & firm type. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your potential attorney about fees. You can ask how much they charge per hour, the minute increments they use & the estimated amount of time your case will take.
Package Fees for Attorney-Will-Writing
A billing option that is less popular, but does exist, is packaged fees. This would include paperwork preparation & time spent on your case. The packages often include one meeting with the attorney & a certain number of phone calls or emails. When selecting this option, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Since the amount of time & activities is limited, there could be additional charges. Some estates would exceed the preset number of activities. If this is the case for you, it’s important to find out how the attorney would handle this. Some would have an hourly billing method kick in, and others might have an additional flat fee. Be sure to ask.
Typical fees for package-will-writing could run anywhere from $150-$600. The average price you can expect with this package is about $375. The factors many attorneys base their package fees on are the size of the estate, the size of the family, and the experience they have.
So Many Options, Where Do I Start? (Questions to Ask Estate Planning Attorneys)
So, now you know…hiring an attorney to write your will is very affordable, now what?! You should start by asking yourself a couple of simple questions and you will be on the right track to completing your will.
Question #1: How Do I Find An Estate Planning Attorney?
An easy place to start in preparing your will is finding an attorney. Many times people find the best services by asking around. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers about attorneys they have used. If Gloria in accounting had a great experience with her divorce lawyer, don’t dismiss that. The attorney she used may have a partner that deals in estate planning or may have a lawyer-friend that she is happy to refer. Great lawyers know other great lawyers.
Question #2: What Will I Pay For An Attorney To Write My Will?
Most attorneys will offer an initial consultation and they won’t charge for it. Take advantage of this! Once you find an estate planning attorney that fits with you and your needs, talk with them, ask them questions. Find out if they charge by the hour, the job, or if they offer package deals. Get a rough estimate of what you will pay for this all-important service.
You Are Ready To Hire An Attorney For Your Will
Once you have answered these questions, you will be ready. Hiring an attorney to write your will is an effective and proven way to be sure your wishes are carried out now and in the future. Jeddeloh Snyder Stommes is a Central Minnesota Law Firms with attorneys specializing in Elder Law and Estate Planning writing. They understand the importance of having a valid legal will. Contact Jeddeloh Snyder Stommes today to ask the important questions or to schedule an initial consultation.
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