Many people tend to assume that estate planning is something that only the wealthiest individuals should worry about. The truth is, estate planning is beneficial to everyone.
For starters, estate planning helps you to plan for your needs by minimizing taxes and expenses. The endeavor ensures that your property only goes to the right beneficiaries. It is an efficient way to ensure that your immediate family is financially protected in case of your death.
However, one of the reasons why many people put off the idea is fear of the cost of estate planning. They feel that the procedure is too expensive and should be left to the rich.
This is not any further from the truth. If you wish to learn more about the average cost of estate planning, check out our guide by clicking here.
What Is Estate Planning?
Contrary to the common belief that estate planning is only for the upper-class income earners, you can create an estate plan as long as you have a home and a family depending on you.
The process can be described as a set of legal documents, pointing out what follows in case you are incapacitated, or you pass away.
While no one hopes for bad things to happen, it is best to plan for the unexpected as early as now.
The aim is to ensure that your property goes to your kids or spouse when you are no more. Do not assume that it happens automatically.
What Is Included in Estate Planning?
An estate plan should include the necessary documents to ensure that it is complete and valid. Some of the essential documents are:
- Your will
- Medical directives
- Power of attorney
- Medical powers of attorney
Be sure to consult your lawyer for advice on carrying out estate planning without breaking the bank.
What Is the Average Cost of Estate Planning?
A lot comes into play when determining the average cost of estate planning. While the main determinant is the cost of paying an estate plan lawyer, other aspects that should be put into consideration include your needs and the reliability of your attorney.
A Breakdown of the Total Cost
The average cost of estate planning will depend on the complexity of your situation. Again, this is based on your precise needs.
The cost of a basic estate plan may also depend on your location. This is in such a way that the lawyers in your region could be more expensive than attorneys from other regions.
Nonetheless, rather than focusing solely on the estimated cost or flat fee for estate planning, you should pay attention to every aspect that goes into pricing.
If all you need is a simple will, be ready to pay between $150 and $300. However, for comprehensive estate planning, the prices might go up to $1000.
The total estate planning cost may be calculated through an hourly rate, consultation fee, or a flat fee.
Depending on the agreement, your attorney may charge you for every hour spent preparing the estate plan.
Although the rates vary, you are most likely to pay between $150 and $300 as the total cost. The trick to reducing the total estate planning prices is to look for a highly qualified attorney who can do the job within the shortest period. But remember that quality services call for high costs.
Some lawyers may ask you to pay a consultation fee to take you through the planning process.
If you are looking to minimize the cost, avoid such attorneys. You can still find an estate planning lawyer willing to offer a free consultation over a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. This deduction goes a long way to save your money.
Nonetheless, if you are looking to understand estate planning and its complex components at a deep level, it would be best if you paid a consultation fee to learn more.
Most lawyers prefer the flat charges plan, whereby you get a quote of the expected cost before getting started with the plan.
The flat fee covers consultation and all the planning processes, and you only get to pay a fixed price at the end of the process.
What Factors May Lead To a Higher Cost of Estate Planning
It would help if you were on the lookout for the aspects that may increase your estate planning costs.
These factors complicate the process more, forcing the estate planning lawyer to turn down flat-rate offers and opt for hourly rates.
Some of those factors include:
The Value of the Property
Planning for a high-value estate is not as easy as planning for smaller value properties.
Keep in mind that in cases of high-value estates, the beneficiaries may be forced to pay estate taxes upon your demise. Therefore, your lawyer will need to put in more effort in the distribution of the assets where needed and find ways to save the beneficiaries’ money.
Number of Kids
The higher the number of children, the more you are likely to pay for estate planning. More children demand trust document to dictate how your assets will be distributed. The cost of trust is not included in the basic estate plan, and you, therefore, have to pay more.
If You Have Properties in Different States
You must be willing to pay more to protect your assets if they are distributed in different states. This is because your attorney has to address each state’s laws when drafting the plan, which is a bit tedious and time-consuming.
Hire a Reliable Attorney for a Smooth and Affordable Estate Planning
Now that you understand the cost of estate planning, it is time to protect your assets by contacting a reliable planning lawyer. The attorney will take you through the estate planning, trusts, and advise you on assets allocation.
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