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How much for a will?
Old 01-08-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
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How much for a will?

My husband and I need to update our wills since we moved from VA to MD. We need to have a Q-TIP trust since our net worth exceeds the MD exemption for estate tax. I was quoted $3,500 flat fee for creating the estate plan documents that we need (will, power of attorney, living will). It seems outrageous to me that it should cost that much when I'm pretty sure it's a boilerplate will.

What have other folks paid?
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:17 PM   #2
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I have no idea, but perhaps you could call other attorneys in your area to get some more estimates.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:36 PM   #3
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I used the services of a fee paid financial planner. He surveyed three law firms in our area. One charged $850, one $3000 and the third $5000 for a basic will with A/B trust, POA, etc.

My friend who was too cheap to pay the $1500 the CFP wanted for a financial plan paid $3000 for his will. I figure the planner saved me his fee and then some.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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I had my will done in 2008 and it included a POA and HCP. It cost $1,500. We had a new one drawn up for my dad which also included a more complex IAMT (Irrevocable Asset Management Trust) and that package cost $3,000. We used the same lawyer.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:26 PM   #6
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Revocable Living Trust, pour over Will, HCP, Living Will, Final Arrangements Instructions, transferring house into Revocable Trust, god knows what else...a full estate planning package with customized clauses I wrote and they rewrote into the proper legalese and incorporated...$3200 in 2007.
Worth every penny.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:35 PM   #7
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A simple will done in the early 80's cost me about $200 and (my guess) the lawyer about 40 minutes.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirion View Post
My husband and I need to update our wills since we moved from VA to MD. We need to have a Q-TIP trust since our net worth exceeds the MD exemption for estate tax. I was quoted $3,500 flat fee for creating the estate plan documents that we need (will, power of attorney, living will). It seems outrageous to me that it should cost that much when I'm pretty sure it's a boilerplate will.

What have other folks paid?
Legal work in Northern VA/Maryland tends to be more expensive than other areas in general as you're probably already aware. We have a few estate planning attorneys that we recommend to clients when asked (we're in northern VA also). One of them even has a local radio show. The fees will vary depending on what needs to be done, but the number quoted doesn't seem out of line from a good law firm.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:16 AM   #9
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When you have an attorney do you estate planning are partly buying what might be a relatively straight forward end product, but most importantly you are buying the advice as to what is the best planning for you, both save taxes and other expenses and to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

And then you get the malpractice claim if he or she doesn't do what should have been done.

Depending what exactly you need the cost will vary. Quality among estate planner also varies quite a bit. Get recommendations and don't just shop on cost.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by chemist View Post
I used the services of a fee paid financial planner. He surveyed three law firms in our area. One charged $850, one $3000 and the third $5000 for a basic will with A/B trust, POA, etc.

My friend who was too cheap to pay the $1500 the CFP wanted for a financial plan paid $3000 for his will. I figure the planner saved me his fee and then some.
The $850 figure makes me worry. Three thousand seems more in the appropriate ball park. But who knows. I certainly don't know the spcific situation.
Figuring out bypass trusts, such as what should go in the trust and all the other options you have with joint and non-joint assets isn't easy and it isn't necessarily easy to give appropriate instructions to the couple that has the estate planning done as often there are different paths to follow after of them dies, depending on the financial situation at death.

The most important thing is to get recommendations from others. Other professionals, especially accountants, are an excellent source.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:54 AM   #11
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Wow, usually in threads like this I expect to be one of the folks that paid more, living in NYC and all.

But I just re-did my will and it cost only 1800 or so. I never asked for a quote, my attorney just bills me for time.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:33 AM   #12
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My wife/me have just completed this task. Our original wills were drawn up over twenty years ago, when life was much different and expectations were, also.

We had a Revocable Trust created, putting our real property into it, along with a SNT (Special Needs Trust) for our disabled adult son (our only "child").

At the time of our passing, our estate will be completely liquidated and passed on to the SNT for our son's future benefit (although his current SSD and lifestyle means that he will probably never touch it).

The cost for the wills, the pour-over document, living wills (end of care directive), POA's, SNT, etc, etc. cost just under $3k (for three people).

Just for a cost comparison. BTW, this was executed through an Elder Law attorney, so he was aware of local end of life requirements (since he has performed the function 30+ years).
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:16 AM   #13
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Again, many thanks for the responses. We have not yet decided what to do. This is a very reputable law firm that quoted me the $3,500. I completely agree that I am paying for the planning advice that goes along with it, however, I knew absolutely everything that the guy spoke with us about in the meeting. My aunt and my parents have used this firm and been pleased. One thing that occurs to me is that we create a will more cheaply and then if one of us dies, use this firm to help us execute the will (decide what to put into the Q-TIP, etc.) If my husband dies, I'll be fine because I know this stuff, but if I die, my husband will be very lost.
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