Lawyers and Law Firms – $2,500 – $5,000
Traditional lawyers and law firms will charge $2,500 to $5,000 for a basic Estate Plan for a couple. Slightly less for an individual. For that fee, you will get an hour or so with the lawyer in his or her office, and you should get at least the following documents:
A Living Trust,
Two Pour-over Wills,
Two Advance Healthcare Directives, and
Two Financial Powers of Attorney.
A good lawyer or law firm will prepare draft documents for your review before finalization and also make sure that your documents are properly signed and notarized and that your Trust is funded by deeding your house to your Trust.
Do-It-Yourself Online Services – $1,250 +/-
An online do-it-yourself service will draw you in with a low starting price of less than $200 for an Estate Plan. For that you get access to their website so you can choose the documents you think you need and then fill them in. If you want to include your pets in your plan, that’s another $39 for some reason. If you want a printed copy of your documents that’s another $60. If you want the deed that puts your house into your trust that’s another $259 and you have to fill it out yourself. Assuming you get the documents right, it’s still up to you to have your documents witnessed or notarized properly (another $100) then recorded with the proper County (another $100 if you do it yourself, more if you use a service). You will also have to pay $249 for each additional transfer deed you have to create for other real properties you might own (plus a recording and notarization fees for each deed). If you’re not sure what you need or how to fill out the forms, you can get a one-half hour telephone consultation with an unknown lawyer, but only if you join a subscription plan that re-bills every year at $120. A 30-minute consultation? You better talk fast because after that, they charge by the minute!
The Law Offices of Thomas M. Garcin – $1,750
That price includes all of the following:
An in-person meeting with you at your home to explain the process, gather information answer your questions and outline your Estate Plan (Generally 60-90 minutes);
Preparing drafts of your Living Trust; Pour-Over Wills; Advance Healthcare Directives; and Financial Powers of Attorney;
Discussing the draft documents with you and making any necessary changes or corrections;
Finalizing the documents after your approval;
Printing your documents (including a Trust Transfer Deed, Preliminary Change of Ownership Report, and other necessary documents);
Meeting at your home with a notary (at our cost) to properly notarize your documents (Generally 60-90 minutes);
- Recording the Trust Transfer Deed and Preliminary Change of Ownership Report with the proper county (again at our cost).
We charge $250 for each additional real property you own, but that includes the Recording Fee ($100) and Notary Fee ($20).