Estate planning attorneys charge for their time in analyzing a client’s estate planning or business needs and drafting the documents that meet those needs, however our firm generally does not base our fees on an hourly rate. Instead, we do legal work on a “flat fee,” all-inclusive basis. These fees cover the initial consultation, drafting of your estate planning documents, review with you, and meetings to execute the documents and following up on outstanding issues.
The precise fee depends on the work needed for your situation, and complex plans naturally carry a higher fee. We generally ask for one-half of the estate planning fee upon hiring the firm, and the balance is due when the documents are signed. There may be some additional, individual costs charged to you, such as deed recording fees and express mail costs. We do not charge for phone calls or for routine postage.
For Trust or Estate Administration, we work with the client to establish an estimate of the time required to complete the work, and ask for a retainer based on the estimated time using our hourly rate. If the work is completed in less time, the client receives a refund, and if the work absorbs more time, we will provide an itemized invoice of additional time.
The exact terms of our fees will be explained in a written fee agreement that we both sign when you agreed to retain the firm. We only accept checks and do not take credit or debit cards.