We charge flat rates for most estate planning services. However, services that require research, document review, evaluation of various tax issues, and services that do not involve preparation of documents, such as consulting, document review, or negotiations, may be billable at an hourly rate.
Hourly Rate $450
Services billable at the hourly rate will usually require a deposit based on the estimated time necessary for your individual matter.
We do not charge for the first phone call for us to meet each other and briefly discuss your needs (up to 10 minutes). However, any consultation during which we analyze your situation and discuss various legal strategies in detail will be subject to the consultation fee. If you retain our office to represent you, we will apply the initial consultation fee against the cost of any services that you hire us to provide.
For all other estate planning matters, we offer three levels of service so you can choose the best fit for your family’s needs.
The Essentials Plan
Individual Simple Will/Trust Plan $2,500
Married Couple Simple Will/ Trust Plan $3,750
The bare minimum of essential estate planning that every family needs.
Simple Will/Trust Plan includes:
- A simple will-based plan or a trust-based plan with a pour-over will.
- Appointment of specific personal property or cash gifts to certain beneficiaries (up to 5 specific gifts).
- Appointment of the residual beneficiaries for your estate.
- Appointments of guardians for your minor children.
- Incapacity care with a Durable Power of Attorney.
- Appointment of your healthcare agent(s).
- Instructions on how to transfer your assets to the trust.
- Notary Fees.
Simple Will/Trust Plan does not include:
- Testamentary trusts incorporated in your will.
- Conditions and restrictions for your beneficiaries’ inheritance.
- Creation of Marital and/or By-Pass Trusts upon the first spouse’s death.
- Sub-trusts for your children.
- Planning for your retirement accounts or life insurance policies.
- Pet trusts.
- Charitable planning.
- Special needs planning.
- Planning for trustee-guardian interactions.
- Provisions for foreign property.
- Transfers of your real property to the trust.
- Business provisions and business interests transfers.
The Family Protection Plan
Individual Plan $3,500 – $8,500
Married Couple Plan $4,800 – $13,500
Exact fees depend on the complexity of your plan: whether you want to include different distribution provisions for each beneficiary, whether special needs planning is required, whether you have multiple real estate properties or business interests that need to be transferred to the trust, etc. An explanation for the proposed fee will be provided at the initial meeting.
Family Protection Plan includes:
- Counseling-based planning that achieves your unique family goals and needs
- Estate Plan Design Meeting(s), Document Review Meeting, and Trust Funding Meeting with your attorney.
- Documents include complex wills with testamentary trusts, one or more comprehensive Revocable Living Trust(s), and Pour-Over Wills.
- Closely held business, S-Corporation, LLC, and C-Corporation provisions.
- Professional practice provisions.
- Provisions for your foreign assets.
- Planning for your retirement account proceeds.
- Marital and Bypass trusts upon the first spouse’s death to protect your estate from subsequent marriages and plan for estate taxes.
- Appointments of trust protectors and distribution trustees.
- Education trusts for your beneficiaries.
- Asset protection trusts for your children or other beneficiaries to protect their inheritance from creditors and/or divorce.
- Provisions to govern interactions between your children’s guardian and your trustee.
- Structured withdrawal rights for the children’s trusts.
- Comprehensive disability planning for you and your spouse to avoid “living” probate.
- Special needs trusts.
- Pet trusts.
- Assignment of your business to the trust.
- Transfer documents for your primary residence and investment real estate properties to the trust.
- Detailed instructions for incapacity care and comprehensive financial powers of attorney.
- Appointment of health care agents, living will, end of life choices, and HIPAA authorizations.
- Guardianship declarations to protect your children in case of your incapacity.
The Advanced Protection Plan
Individual/ Married Couple Plan $15,000 +
The fee will be determined after a comprehensive evaluation of the client’s assets and distributory intent.
Advanced Protection Plan includes:
- All features of the Family Protection Plan yet goes far beyond those levels.
- Most advanced wealth transfer strategies available to minimize taxation and fees, such as irrevocable trusts; standalone retirement account trusts, life insurance trusts, etc.
- Buy-sell agreements for your business.
- LLCs and holding companies.
- Creditor protection plan for your professional practice.
- Sophisticated strategies to maximize, guide, and protect the wealth passed down to your beneficiaries.
- Revocation/Amendment of Trust Hourly
- Real Estate Deed Retrieval from the County $25 (per deed)
- Real Estate Deed Preparation $250 (per deed)
- Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement $4,500- $8,500
- Review and Certification of Prenuptial Agreement $1,500
- Property Agreement as Part of the Estate Plan $1,250
- Stand-Alone Property Agreement as Part of the Estate Plan $2,500 - $3,500
- Assignment of LLC or Corporate Interests to the Trust $350 - $750 (per entity)
There are no hidden costs. Your total estate planning fees will be determined at the initial consultation and included in your Agreement for Services.
You can pay by cash, check, or credit card.
All fees above $5,000 may be divided into 2 payments: 2/3 payable at the commencement of the services; 1/3 at the completion of the document drafts. We will let you know in advance when you need to pay and what the amount will be.
Working with Our Estate Planning Office
Our mission is to take care of each client like they were our only client. Everything that we do within this office is intended to fulfill that goal. When you retain our office for your legal needs, we promise the following:
- You will never have to wait more than 30 days for an appointment. In fact, we try to accommodate all appointments within a week or two from the initial contact.
- Your attorney will always show up to the meeting as scheduled.
- Your emails and voicemail messages will never go unanswered and will usually be responded to within 48 hours.
- You will be communicating directly with your attorney on most, if not all, occasions.
- You will receive updates on the developments of your case and the anticipated timelines for completion of your documents.
- If your matter is time-sensitive, we will not agree to represent you unless we can meet your deadline.
- Your attorney will always take the time necessary to address your concerns, analyze your situation, and answer your questions so you can make an informed decision.
- We will maintain contact and welcome your questions and comments even after your estate planning documents are completed. We don’t charge for phone calls about the estate plan that we prepared, we offer an Estate Plan Maintenance Program, and we always welcome you checking in with us to let us know what has changed in your life.
- We will be transparent and open about our fees. You will know how much our services will cost before you sign the agreement for services, and you will never receive an invoice with additional charges without your prior consent.
We May Not be a Good Fit
If you are looking for a law firm just to prepare template estate planning documents, we are not a good fit. All of our plans are custom drafted and individually tailored to you and your family after an extensive analysis of your circumstances.
If you are looking for an estate planning attorney who will not try to get to know you and ask personal questions, we are not a good a fit. The nature of our services is deeply rooted in knowing our client, their family, and their asset situation well in order to provide the best care.
If you cannot follow and respect our office’s procedural and administrative policies, we are not a good fit. Our attorney-client relationship can only be maintained if we have mutual trust and respect for each other’s time.
If you are looking for a law firm that is the cheapest, we are not a good fit. We set the fees for our services based on the value provided to client.
But if you’re looking for an attorney that is honest, knowledgeable, experienced, and responsive, that can prepare the estate planning documents you need, plan for various tax consequences of your estate planning decisions, can assist with issues related to the implementation of that plan in the event of your death or incapacity, and who also wants to maintain a continuing relationship with you and your family, then we might be a good fit.