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  • cpst of preparing estate planning

    Local attorney costing $4900 to prepare all wills and testaments, kids protection papers , creating a revocable trust and transferring all out properties to the trust so far we have. Is that fair price? How much you have paid for it? net worth 1.2 M

  • #2
    I paid $3000 for the initial set up of everything. For more complex planning, the cost goes up from there. This was a discounted rate to attract us as a client.

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    • #3
      SHOP AROUND! IMO it's shady pricing. I called an attorney to do my MIL estate. I was quoted 5000K. My MIL called the same attorney and they gave her $1500. So a difference of $3500 just having different people call. I did legal zoom for $359 for a hefty estate but very uncomplicated.

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      • #4
        I get a discount on legal services through my work and we did this for around $2k which was the discount. I think from what I've seen over the years on these boards anything from $2500-$4000 is reasonable. Yours isn't that much more so try to negotiate it down with the lawyer. If they won't negotiate then just find someone else.

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        • #5
          It's highly variable depending on your local cost of living. Also, your net worth isn't necessarily your estate size. Do you have life insurance? Your estate went up. Do you have a state estate tax or inheritance tax? Complexity went up. Are you married? Complexity went up. Blended family? Etc. Overall $4900 seems within the range, albeit on the high side.

          If I were a single adult with a $1 million estate and no dependents, I'd comfortably use an online program for $50.

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          • #6
            It typically comes down to location, size of the firm, and complexity of the documents. With a $1.2 million net worth, you almost certainly just need the basic package (Will, Trusts, POA for healthcare/property). For the "basic" package, in Chicago, it typically would be $6-10k as the standard rate versus $4-5k in the suburbs of Chicago. In Ann Arbor, it's anywhere from $2,500-$3,000, but larger firms will charge $5k+ still. I'm sure you can save money on legal zoom and maybe everything would be just fine, but I'd prefer to find a local firm that I trust and pay a reasonable price versus trying to save $1k and have something go wrong with a $1.2 million+ estate (or issues with guardians for any children). With a local attorney, they'll understand any state specific laws and also help with the titling/how to actually implement the estate plan.
            Andrew Musbach, CFP® | Co-Founder & Financial Advisor at MD Wealth Management, LLC | Podcast Host - The Physician's Guide to Financial Wellness

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            • #7
              That price is in the range that can be expected, and I agree with what's been said above. The problem with only comparison by price shopping is that non-estate planners, including other lawyers, don't understand the products they're trying to compare. Be concerned with the quality of what you're getting too. The most important aspect consumers can compare is the quality of the estate planner. Regarding DIY work and and choosing the cheapest general practitioner to crank out documents, I see too many very costly mistakes made to think either is worth the risk.
              Last edited by Gavin West; 04-27-2021, 09:46 AM.

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              • #8
                It's like picking a doctor. Most patients rate doctors based on courtesy, timeliness, responsiveness. They aren't equipped to evaluate quality, did doctor follow best practices, what are outcome rates, etc.

                How should a consumer evaluate the quality of the estate planning he receives?

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                • #9
                  I just completed the process last month. I think that I live in a MCOL.

                  I paid about $3,200 for a revocable living trust, testamentary (kiddie) trust, wills (spouse and myself), living wills (spouse and myself), durable power of attorneys (spouse and myself), advanced healthcare directives (spouse and myself) and to title our home deed to the trust.

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                  • #10
                    It is so dependent on where you live and how knowledgeable about what you want. No RLT will save you $1,500 - $2,500, depending on state (which also matters on whether you need one or not). Note that you can skip the RLT and move to a state where you need one and then add it. Know what you’re doing and why.
                    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                    • #11
                      Saving family squabbling over estate = priceless imho. Also designating who says what over whom for the kiddos. Those are the things where RLT make the difference beyond the simple probate savings.

                      ​​​​​​We liked being more prescriptive with our first trust and young ones. The second one we were much looser and the next one when they are adults will be even looser. If biden gets his way on stepup changes, going to have to rethink a lot of things for the tax transfer.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you everybody. we did pay above cost to prepare everything , all paper works, funded revocable trust with everything we have including 2 houses , multiple cash accounts etc.The attorney was referred by friends, very useful for follow up in the future. they will also do complimentary review services for any minor changes every three years. Shopping around might have saved some money but total cost was little less than our vacation to Disney last month so worth it.

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