How Much Does Estate Planning Cost?
So you have decided it is time to set up your estate plan. One of the first questions you will likely research is “how much does estate planning cost?” Like you, we are also consumers of goods and services, and in order to make an educated purchase, price is often an important factor to us.
How Much Do Estate Planning Attorneys Charge?
Attorneys are notorious for not disclosing how much they charge for their services. If you do a search online for “how much does estate planning cost,” you will find that there is either a very wide range of fees, or your $599 do-it-yourself estate plans. Most people are left with calling individual attorneys and doing a poll of how much each estate planning attorney charges in their area. After polling 2, 3 or 4 attorneys, you may have an idea of what estate planning cost, but then the next question is how do you figure out what you get for that estate planning cost so that you can pick an estate plan that is right for you?
What is the Difference in Cost Between Estate Plans?
The difficultly for most people with estate planning is understanding why there is a difference in cost from one estate plan to another. If you do your research online, you will find that most estate planning lawyers in Orange County will include similar documents in their estate planning packages. So what do we do when we are unable to decipher between a good estate plan and a bad one? Understandably, a lot of people end up relying largely, or exclusively, on price to make their decision. Some will automatically gravitate towards the cheapest estate plan they can find. Others will assume the most expensive is the best and go with that. Others try to find a happy medium. But how do we know what we are getting for that price? If Estate Plan #1 will cost you double the cost of Estate Plan #2, but Estate Plan #1 will save you 10 times as much in taxes and legal fees later, we would all agree that Estate Plan #1 is the easy choice. However, Estate Plan #1 may save one person 10 times the amount of fees and taxes, and may save another person nothing. So what should you do?!
Modern Wealth Law’s 3 Step Process
At Modern Wealth Law, our goal is help you make a more informed decision about the cost of your estate plan. We follow an easy 3 step method to help you determine the cost of your estate plan:
- Free Consultation
- We discuss your family dynamics, your financial situation and your goals. We provide you with the pros and cons of several options that may fit your individual situation.
- Cost Breakdown
- We provide you with a breakdown of your estate plan, along with the costs associated with the options we discussed.
- Choose Your Price
- After you have had the chance to weigh the options and the costs, you tell us which options you want to keep, and which options you can live without.
Our process allows you to be in charge of the price of your estate plan and understand exactly what you are paying for.
Compared to Traditional Estate Planning Pricing
When you call a traditional estate planning lawyer and ask “how much does it cost for estate planning,” the lawyer’s response will likely be so vague that it will be useless, or conversely the estate planning lawyer will speak to you for a few minutes and then quote you a price without any further explanation or breakdown. Honestly, you should be suspicious of any attorney that is able to give you a price of an estate plan within a few minutes of speaking to you.
By analogy, let’s assume you called a used car dealership and asked, “how much for a car,” and the salesman immediately responds, “$5,000!” Would you feel comfortable with the car you would be buying? Of course not. The salesman has no idea what type of car you want, what you will be using it for, and what features are important to you. The number of options in estate planning are as numerous, but the consequences of choosing the wrong options in estate planning can be significantly larger.
Unfortunately, this is how estate planning is often marketed to the public. An attorney will promote a fixed price, and then you will receive an estate plan that the attorney wants to give you. But shouldn’t something as important and personal as estate planning be the opposite way around? Shouldn’t the attorney guide you through each of your options, explain the pros and cons of each option, how they are important to your situation, and then let you decide if those options are worth the cost?
Experience the Difference at Modern Wealth Law
At Modern Wealth Law, we have changed how you are charged for estate planning. At no cost to you, we will walk you through your family situation, your concerns, your goals, and then discuss your options. After discussing your options, we will provide you a flat fee cost for that particular estate plan with a breakdown of the cost. If after considering the cost of each of your options, you want to add or subtract certain options, we will revise the flat fee cost accordingly. To schedule your free consultation, contact John L. Wong, Orange County Estate Planning Attorney at (949) 371-5003.