One of the frequent questions I get from callers is this: How Much Do You Charge for a Will?
If you came to this page to find out what I’ll charge you for a Will or you are considering calling me (or any other attorney) to ask, “How much does a will cost?” please don’t.
I can’t tell you what it will cost because it’s not the right question.
The question you want to ask first is “What planning do I need to have in place to ensure my family is cared for and our money is used for them the way I want?”
Too many people make their estate planning decisions based on what it’s going to cost.
Sometimes, that may be the right criteria. Most of the time it’s not.
The problem is you don’t know what you don’t know.
Have you looked on-line for cheap wills? When you Google ” cheap will ” or fill out canned documents from a book or DIY kit from the office supply store (yup, they still sell those!), you don’t know what you are actually getting, now or in the future… there is no “planning” involved.
When tragedy strikes, it’s your family who is left with the mess.
Failed plans, unnecessary and expensive probate, or even multiple probates in different states, legal fees for guardianships, being at the mercy of the judicial system – these are some of the potential results.
When you hire me, you aren’t paying for documents.
When you hire me, you aren’t renting my time, but gaining access to my experience, thoughts, and concern for you and your family. You are hiring an ally … one of your trusted team in planning for your future.
So, when you call me and ask how much for a Will, I can’t give you an answer because I don’t know if that’s what you need.
We use a planning process to understand you, your family, and your needs.
Our process begins with a LifePathways Strategy Session. In that, I’ll listen to your concerns and help to identify the key issues we need to address, together. I’ll propose a preliminary plan and tell you what you will gain by having a plan in place. Then, we schedule a LifePathways Planning Session to look at the full picture.
Before this meeting, you will usually receive a package of information with homework for you to complete so you can benefit from the time with me the most. And then we’ll invest our time together exploring your life, looking at what would happen to you, your children, your money, and the people you love if anything happens to you.
You will feel heard, cared about, informed, educated, and empowered to make the best decisions for the people and things that matter most in your life.
I can’t actually answer “How much does a will cost?” because I don’t charge for documents. I charge for advice, guidance, counsel, and support. The Will? It’s free.
I can tell you this – most of our foundational plans range between $1,400 and $8,000. Your package will be customized to the specific needs of your family. And you will stay in control the whole time.
How do you choose a lawyer, if not based on price?
- Get referrals from your friends and family.
- See who stands out in your area.
- Search for a local provider.
- Get connected.
- Be comfortable with your attorney.
When you find the right lawyer, he or she will be a member of your team for the long term, not for just this one transaction.
So, the question now is, “What do I need to do to make things as easy for my family as possible, if something happens to me?”