What Are The Costs of An Estate Plan?

Hi, this is Marc Herbert with the Question of the Week. This week, our question is, what is the cost of an estate plan? At Herbert Law office, the answer to that question is it really depends. It depends on your family structure. It depends on your asset structure. It depends on potential tax liabilities. So unlike most attorneys, we really customize the fee to what exactly are the needs and goals of each of our clients.

Now, there are plenty of attorneys offices where as soon as you walk in, they see a single person and automatically they’re going to charge them, you know, $3,000 maybe, or a married couple walks in and that’s $5,000 every single time, regardless of their family structure, asset structure or potential taxes. Here at Herbert Law office, when you come in for our free consultation, we talk with you about all those issues.

We take a good look at your current financial situation. We talk about the options that are available. We offer three different levels of service, which you choose what’s going to work best for you. After we talk through and then you choose the options that work best for you and your family. So we don’t have a set fee, we have a range, and that range can actually go down because we do offer a lot of discounts for military first responders, teachers.

So there’s a unique price set for each unique client based on their unique needs and goals. Then once we’re hired, there’s a quick five step process that efficiently puts everything together with your approval and all your questions answered every step of the way. Regardless of what the cost might be for you individually, it’s going to be a lot better than going to probate court, which is what happens with assets that aren’t protected by a living trust or other estate planning documents.

Usually the rule of thumb in California right now is 7% of the assets that go into probate court don’t come out. So if you have an estate worth $300,000 that say, you know, 7% of that is going to magically disappear. In terms of filing fees to the court, publication fees, appraisals on the property, that’s decided by a referee appointed by the court.

So there’s no input really, from my office or from you on that. And then at the end, the lawyer gets paid before the heirs. And oftentimes, lawyers will charge what they call extraordinary fees, which is a bonus, in my opinion, beyond the statutory limited fee. And even some lawyers will go off of the net value of the estate instead of the gross value.

All of which takes money out of the pockets of the heirs, which is where it belongs, in my opinion. So building an estate plan to avoid all the costs of probate gives you more control. It can be built in usually 30 to 45 days and for a lot less than 7% of the assets that you’re putting in here at Herbert Law office, we offer a free consultation.

We’ll talk through your situation, we’ll talk through your options, and then you decide what you want to do. And that’s ultimately what determines the cost of an estate plan here. If you’d like more information, just visit our Web site at Herbert Law Office. Dot com or call my office at 6612739007. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.