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Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-18-2006, 04:19 PM   #1
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Cost of legal Documents

DW and I are in the process of updating our legal documents.

We are being charged a total of $600 ($300/ each) for the following: Last will and testament (10 pgs), Declaration in the event of incapacity (2pgs), Medical POA (2pgs), Directive to physicians (3 pgs).

I am curious how much others have paid for similar legal documents. We live in Texas and I'm curious if the cost here varies that much from other areas of the country.
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Re: Cost of legal Documants
Old 12-18-2006, 05:33 PM   #2
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Re: Cost of legal Documants

If you are over 50 and a member of AARP you can get a simple will for $100 per couple and $35 for medical POA (each person) and $35 for a living will (physician directive) per person.

http://www.aarp.org/aarp_benefits/of...l_network.html

We used a local (Dallas) attorney that was part of the AARP network and he did a good job and was very reasonable. We also had financial POA's done for $35 each.

Our situation was simple but if you have a complicated will it could be more expensive.
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Re: Cost of legal Documants
Old 12-19-2006, 04:13 AM   #3
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Re: Cost of legal Documants

here in new york 2,000 bucks for those 3 documents. do a search on wills in these forums to get an idea of the pending disaters doing it on the cheap or with will kits.

what you think is a very simple document is filled with lots of loopholes and traps .

nothing is a problem until its a problem with these documents and executions.
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Re: Cost of legal Documants
Old 12-19-2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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Re: Cost of legal Documants

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107
nothing is a problem until its a problem with these documents and executions.
I think it's probably better to worry less about the total cost as much as whether you've ended up with the lowest bidder.
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 11:43 AM   #5
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

Often people feel that if the pro's (e.g. lawyers) use boilerplate it somehow diminishes the value of their services ("they just fill in the blanks"). But I think there is something of value in knowing which boilerplate document to use, filling it in just right, and tweaking it to meet indivudual needs.

Heck, if my lawyer uses a boilerplate contract or other document, it's that much less time I'm paying her to start from scratch.
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Often people feel that if the pro's (e.g. lawyers) use boilerplate it somehow diminishes the value of their services ("they just fill in the blanks"). But I think there is something of value in knowing which boilerplate document to use, filling it in just right, and tweaking it to meet indivudual needs.

Heck, if my lawyer uses a boilerplate contract or other document, it's that much less time I'm paying her to start from scratch.
The problem is that many lawyers "value bill", and charge you some or all of the time it took to draft the boilerplate document in the first place. It might take your lawyer an hour or so to fill in the appropriate blanks and tweak the document, which might add up to ~$200. That's not going to pay the bills, so many lawyers charge $1,500+ for a will, which does pay the bills if they can do 2-3 per week.
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

You may be able to do it yourself using a noiler plate document from nolo.com. The library has them too, including the CD-ROM. The documents are valid in all 50 states and they explain in what specific (rare?) situations where you really need a lawyer.
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 04:18 PM   #8
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

The value the lawyer gives you is determining what you might need, thinking through with you what you might not have thought of, and only then putting it to paper. A paralegal or secretary often can make up most of the will once a determination is made about what you need.

People can have complicated situations and often the more money the more complex. Will you need a trust as well as a will? What kind? An asset protection trust? A revocable trust or irrevocable? How about a family limited partnership? What should you do to minimize estate taxes? What is the best way to accomplish the charitable giving you want to accomplish? How should you deal with your disabled son? Should you put your cabin in an LLC and gift shares to your kids? Etc.

Other people have simple situations that a Nolo willmaker kit can handle.

The cost will depend on your situation.
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

since i happen to be dealing now with mom's will & estate so i have that at hand, i thought i could just cross her name out, fill mine in and be done with it. anyone know a notary?

though i might make mine a bit more complex. i was thinking that since i have full intention of being mom's son again next life (i really did enjoy that) that i ought to skip my brother's kids and go on to the following generation or set up a trust and have the generation which is born following my death inherit. you know, just on the outside chance that there is reincarnation and that we reincarnate to the same family. no reason why mom & i shouldn't get that money back. and just think of the compounded interest.

would i be charged extra for that?
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 04:43 PM   #10
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

lg4nb, sorry to hear about your mom.

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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #11
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

thanx man, me too.
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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

Hey lazygood4nothinbum,

Real sorry to hear about you losing your Mom, man. No matter what time of the year it happens it is damn tough.

Hang in there...



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Re: Cost of legal Documents
Old 12-19-2006, 08:07 PM   #13
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Re: Cost of legal Documents

thanx mickeyd. i really loved having her in my life. what a great lady. another 20 years would have been nice, well, without alzheimer's that is. your question on legal docs couldn't have been better timed as my uncle is pushing me to complete these items also just yesterday i received new copies of mom's will by certified mail.

i love the section that reads: "if any beneficiary contests the provisions of this my last will and testament, said beneficiary shall be deemed to have predeceased me." reminds me of that mommy dearest movie moment: "don't f*ck with me fellas." i suggested my brother point out that section to his kids before they get any ideas.

the document seems rather lengthy too at 20 pages. i had read it with interest when i was appointed mom's guardian about 5 years ago. but this time when i read it again all i could do is cry. life should be easier.
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