THE VALUE OF PLANNING
A PLAN TODAY KEEPS PROBATE AWAY.
An estate plan is an investment in your family’s future. Sometimes it is difficult to spend money now on something that benefits you later. Much of the value of a good estate plan comes from what it avoids in the future, so it can be easy to put off. However, the future benefit to your family is HUGE compared to the cost now.
There is no charge for your consultation with your attorney, and during that meeting your attorney will spend time getting to know you and determining what is needed. In most cases, this will be an estate plan that includes a trust. You will be provided a quote for a flat fee to create all the documents in your estate plan at that meeting.
Fees for an estate plan can vary depending on issues like the size of the estate, tax planning, the complexity of the plan’s distributions and/or family relationships, and planning for beneficiaries with special needs.
Prior to our consultation with a client, it can be difficult to pinpoint cost because it is like estimating what it will cost to cure an illness before the doctor has seen the patient. On the other hand, it is important for people to have a realistic expectation of what good planning involves. In very general terms, you should anticipate fees for a typical new estate plan to be in the range of $2800-$3500.
If you have legal plan coverage with MetLife or ARAG through your employer, your legal plan may cover all or part of the cost of your estate plan.
While there can be a variety of special circumstances that may add to the cost of an estate plan, you will be given a precise quote at your consultation so you know what to expect.
Cost of a Probate
By contrast, the cost of a probate is …..
The cost of an estate plan is quite different from the eventual cost of NOT having created an estate plan.
|How much of my estate is subject to probate?|
*if trust is properly funded
Any real estate (valued at more than $60,000); or everything else you own (if the total value exceeds approx $185,000)
|How long will it take to settle the estate?||Trust administrations typically take 6-12 months, during which the trustee can access funds or sell property||2 or more years, during which time assets are frozen and nothing can be distributed or sold without court approval|
|How much will it cost to settle the estate?||$3,000-$5,000 in attorney fees||Approx 10% of the gross value of the estate in attorney & executor fees, court costs, and other expenses|
|Aside from financial considerations, what are some other differences?||Process is less costly and handled out of court smoothly and simply with your attorney, who will be a knowledgeable advocate for any unforeseen issues that may arise||Costly and time-consuming process in the court system which allows more time for relatives to have conflict over the wishes of the deceased. Costs may force unwanted sale of family property.|