If you are worried about what will happen to your loved ones when you pass you need to have an estate plan. Estate planning protects your loved ones and makes your passing just a little bit more manageable.
To ensure your family is protected and your last wishes are honored you will need an estate lawyer. But how much does an estate lawyer cost? Here is our guide.
What Does an Estate Lawyer Do?
Estate lawyers will serve two primary functions. Estate planning and managing probate. Estate planning is the process of preparing your estate and includes things such as preparing a will, assigning power of attorney, etc.
Probate management is the legal process in which a court oversees all things related to the estate, primarily the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Probate deals primarily with wills and will contests.
How Much Does an Estate Lawyer Cost?
Exactly how much you can expect to pay when hiring an estate lawyer depends on several factors. Years of experience is the most important variable.
An estate attorney with less than 10 years of experience will charge $210 to $265 per hour on average. Lawyers with more than 10 years of experience charge between $280 and $350.
Estate lawyer fees are typically charged in one of two ways, hourly fees, and flat fees. Estate lawyers will also typically charge for miscellaneous disbursements, such as filing fees.
Hourly fees are the most common fee arrangements for estate attorneys. Lawyers will charge you for the number of hours (and partial hours) they spend on your estate.
Your lawyer will tell you upfront how much they charge per hour, but it may not be obvious how many hours of work will be required. Be sure to ask for an estimate of the total hours worked on your estate when choosing a lawyer.
Some estate attorneys will charge a flat or fixed fee to handle certain estate matters. For example, the attorney will have a fixed fee to prepare a will, or to handle a probate proceeding.
Lawyers will often bundle these services together to offer a suite of estate planning services. You can expect to pay between $1000 and $2000 for an estate planning bundle and up to $2500 for estate administration services.
Many clients prefer this fee structure because they know exactly how much they will pay in advance. If you choose to go for a flat fee, make sure you know what is and is not included in your services. Additional reviews and services will likely incur another fee.
Your attorney's fees will only cover his or her time. This means everything else is extra. When you get your bill you can expect an itemized breakdown of things such as postage, delivery services, filing fees, and any other expenses related to your estate.
Hiring The Right Estate Lawyer
Estate planning and administration can be difficult at the best of times. Hiring the right estate lawyer will make a difficult time much easier for your loved ones. If you follow our guide you will be able to answer the question, how much does an estate lawyer cost? And you will know what to expect. Find the right estate lawyer here.