The cost of an estate plan largely depends on the number of parts it includes and the complexity of the documents. The most basic estate plan is just a will, but it may also include the appointment of another person’s power of attorney or medical agent, the writing of a living will or the authorization of HIPAA. The national average cost of developing a heritage plan is between $350 and $900, but it can be higher in complex situations. For example, a real estate lawyer may be able to prepare a basic will for a mere $900 to provide a thorough distribution, which means that property and assets are distributed upon death. It costs $3000 or more to write a more complex will and hold the trust assets. The process of making an estate plan usually takes two to four weeks, starting with a preliminary consultation with a probate lawyer to identify areas of concern in order to design an estate plan that fits your goals and budget. After making the estate plan, the lawyer will meet with clients, notaries and two neutral witnesses to review and sign the plan and related documents.
Whether as part of a family property plan or as a personal document, a family lawyer, estate or will lawyer can help you prepare a living will. Fees usually range from $250 to $500, depending on your attorney’s fees; some are charged on an hourly basis, while others are charged a fixed rate for living. Some states require notarization of living wills, an average increase of $5 to $15. In life, also known as advanced health care instructions, you can specify whether you want to continue to receive life support when you are terminally ill or in a state of permanent plant growth. You can also answer other important questions in your life, such as if you prefer tube feeding, artificial water supplement and painkillers when you can’t express your own wishes alone.
Estate planning is an important part of financial planning, so it’s also important to find the right lawyer to prepare your will. Although most family lawyers can aggregate basic wills, you may need someone who specializes in wills and estate planning, especially if you have a lot of assets or dependants to look after. You may need a lawyer with expertise in planning and executing trusts and a tax background. Ask the lawyer how to charge; some charge by hour, some by will, some by percentage of the total value of the estate. List several potential probate lawyers to interview. Make sure you have a strong personal connection with your lawyer, you need to easily tell him or her confidential personal information about your life, and you need to feel that your lawyer is committed to solving any problems that may arise when you write a will. Also find out when a lawyer has been in real estate law and whether he or she has dealt with a will similar to yours.