Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs an estate plan?
Nearly everyone. A proper estate plan ensures a smoother transition for your family and is your opportunity to protect them and control your legacy. It gives you the power to decide what happens to the things you've earned, inherited, and accumulated. If you have children, it allows you to have peace of mind that they will be cared for by the people of your choosing. While no one enjoys thinking about life after he/she is gone, your family will be grateful that you did.
how much does an estate plan cost?
An estate plan, including a trust, for a married couple will typically cost between $2000-4000; for single people it will be in the range of $1500-3000. Costs vary depending on the range of documents required to properly protect your estate. A simple will that does not include a trust is less expensive.
WHY DO I NEED A Will or TRUST?
Very simply, a will tells the world to whom you want to leave your assets. Without a will, the state decides by following intestacy laws. This includes important matters like caring for your children--if you are a parent to young kids, an estate plan is essential for you to designate guardians and put people in place to love and care for your kids if you cannot.
A trust works to place conditions on how your assets will be distributed. It is also a useful planning tool to minimize estate taxes and avoid the probate process for those assets included in the trust.
do you provide legal services beyond estate planning?
Yes! In addition to estate planning, we also handle contested probate matters, fiduciary litigation, and mediation services.
what to expect during the estate planning process?
Before you agree to work with us, we will meet with you to understand your needs and goals. Prior to our meeting, you will complete a questionnaire that identifies your assets, liabilities, and intended beneficiaries. We will review your responses during our initial free consultation. At the end of the consultation, we will tell you the cost of your estate plan. If you decide to retain us, you will sign a retention letter and pay half of the cost upfront. Once the estate plan documents are complete, we will meet with you again and collect the remainder of the fee. The entire process usually takes several weeks, although exceptions can certainly be made depending on circumstances.
Please note, we understand certain people in need of our services may not be able to travel to our office. We will consider making local house calls to meet your needs.