Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Estate Planning

Estate Planning Cost


How Much Does Estate Planning Cost?

 
average costMedium: Attorney Starts Around $800-$1,800high costHigh: Can Run $2,000-$3,500 Or More
post Post    

Estate planning is the process of looking at all you have and deciding what you want to do with it during your working and retirement years, as well as how you want it distributed after you die in order to minimize taxes and other fees paid by your survivors.

Typical costs:

  • Having a lawyer evaluate your financial and family circumstances and prepare appropriate legal documents starts around $800-$1,800 and can run $2,000-$3,500 or more, depending on complexity, location and other circumstances.
  • Books covering the basics of estate planning[1] run $10-$100. Do-it-yourself estate planning kits[2] run $10-$60 and estate planning computer software[3] is $20-$250. Be sure the information provided includes up-to-date details specific to your state of residence; many estate planning experts recommend against using one-size-fits-all documents unless they're reviewed by an attorney.
Related articles: Will, Trust, Probate, Financial Planner, Tax Returns

What should be included:
  • The four basic estate planning tools are a will, durable power of attorney, a living will and a medical durable power of attorney (health care proxy), according to the Financial Planning Association. Other tools that might be used in planning your estate include trusts, how assets are owned, insurance and gifting. Your attorney will review your current situation and your long-term goals and needs, to help you create a plan using these tool. The goal is to maximize your financial security during your working and retirement years while setting things up so that when you die your money, property and other items will be distributed according to your wishes, and with a minimum amount of taxes and probate costs.
  • FindLaw.com provides an overview of the information needed to do estate planning as well as a more detailed estate planning checklist[4] that you can fill out.
  • The planning process should include time for you to consider and reflect on any decisions you need to make. The State Bar of California warns against "promoters" of financial and estate planning services who pressure you into buying specific financial products or one-size-fits-all living trust kits.
  • Although people prefer not to think so far ahead as their death, estate planning is a good idea for almost everyone. Nolo Press provides a look at estate planning based on age and family situation. The University of Florida recommends writing a letter of last instructions[5] so your family and friends will know your wishes and what arrangements you've already made.
Additional costs:
  • If you own a small business or extensive property, you might want to consult with your accountant or other financial professionals as part of the estate planning process. There could be additional charges for these services.
  • Attorneys working on an hourly basis charge for any time spent answering your questions on the phone or by e-mail, as well as case-related expenses such as interviews, research or photocopies. Charges are usually done in quarters or tenths of an hour; a six-minute phone conversation may be billed as 15 minutes.
Shopping for estate planning:
  • FindLaw.com provides a detailed questionnaire to complete when preparing to meet with an estate planning lawyer[6] . Ask about the attorney's experience and specific training in estate planning law.
  • Referrals to lawyers are available through the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel[7] and the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys[8] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand what is covered, and any other fees and expenses you might have to pay.
post Post    
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Estate Planning
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Law Firm: Amount Per Hour: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=estate+plann...
  2.  www.google.com/search?tbm=shop&q=estate+planning+kit&hl=en
  3.  www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_sw?url=search-alias%3Dsoftware&field-keywords=estate+plannin...
  4.  estate.findlaw.com/planning-an-estate/estate-planning-checklist.html
  5.  edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy537
  6.  estate.findlaw.com/estate-planning-help/prepare-to-meet-with-estate-planning-lawyer.html
  7.  www.actec.org/public/roster/search.asp
  8.  www.aaepa.com/attorney_listing.aspx
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost? How Much Do Funeral Flowers Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 
Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Hot Water Heater
Paid: 1805.00
Notified the company Saturday and they were onsite Monday morning with and evaluation. Within 2 hours they had the new water heater onsite and installing... [more]
-Robert Flowers
Replacing a Water Heater Cost
Nitrous oxide
Paid: 727.00
My oral surgeon wanted to charge me $727 for nitrous oxide I opted for the needle and he was extra rough on me I think he was mad because I wouldn't spend the money... [more]
-Nathan e dodge
Sedation Dentistry Cost
Clearing Forest of lightly wooded brushy area. no tree cutting
Paid: 1100.00
Hired to clear 2-lots 98.24 length by 62.5 width and 3rd lot 56.5 width by 110.99 length. He started clearing borderline path all around property to work his way to center of property. Debris was burned (none was hauled away)... [more]
-Margie brown
Land Clearing Cost
Cost
Paid: 300.00
WHY is it so expensive---my sibling is on Social Security... [more]
-
Medical Marijuana Cost
Sunroom Patio Enclosures
Paid: 56000.00
14x16 gable roof 3 season room 4 season was $75,000 includes new deck gable roof shingled with skylights... [more]
-ROBERT PETERS
Sunroom Cost
20% Rear, 35% Front, 70% Windshield + "Free" Sunroof
Paid: 500.00
Got a few quotes around town. This place low balled me to get me in the door, but I already knew I'd want more premium grade tint. Office was friendly and explained my options well... [more]
-Butchy45
Window Tinting Cost