Did you know that roughly 67 percent of Americans have no estate plan? While this number may sound surprising, there is something you can do when it comes to your estate plan. Many people never create a will and haven’t got a plan for what will happen to their possessions when they pass. In the big picture, this can cause problems not just for you but also for your loved ones. In truth, estate planning is essential, and so are estate planning attorney costs. Ignoring the need for one could be detrimental to the success of your estate.
Here’s what you need to know about estate planning and attorney fees.
Why You Should Have an Estate Plan
Many people aren’t aware of why they should have an estate plan. As you get older, getting an estate plan becomes more important.
To Ensure Your Estate Is Secure
You should know where your assets will go when it’s time for them to be passed on. So to ensure your assets go where you want them to, you should have an estate lawyer look at your situation.
If you have somewhere specific where you would like to leave your belongings, then setting up a plan will ensure this will happen.
Reduce Tax Costs
Another big reason you should have a plan set up is to reduce the taxes that come with estate planning. These taxes are called transfer taxes.
This is whenever the ownership of a property is transferred to someone else. Having an estate plan can help make the transfer process smoother and help you to avoid any unexpected excess fees.
Ensure Your Possessions Aren’t Reclaimed
There are certain circumstances when your possessions may be claimed by the government instead of your family. This normally happens when an estate plan has not been created, and nobody has legally tried to obtain your possessions.
In this case, your assets are not always protected. Also, they can risk getting sent elsewhere, which is why it’s better to get an estate plan in place.
What an Estate Plan Entails
The estate plan itself is fairly straightforward. It’s all a matter of arranging where your money, property, and possessions will go.
You’ll need to do a few things to create your plan, which you can find below.
1. Get an Attorney
The first thing you need to do is get a good estate attorney.
This part is important because there are many legalities that you need to know to create your estate plan successfully.
The attorney’s job is to tell you what these legalities are and ensure you comply with them. So they are a crucial part of the process.
2. Make a Will
Next, you need to make a will. This is where you will detail exactly where you want all of your finances and possessions to go.
If you don’t have a will in place, then the chances are you may not have full control over where your money is going.
3. Complete Legal Forms
There will also be some legal forms that you need to fill out. One important form you need to complete is a beneficiary form, where you will detail who is entitled to your belongings.
Again your attorney will be able to give you guidance on this part.
How Much an Estate Planning Attorney Costs
Just like any other sector, the cost of an estate planning attorney can vary. We recommend that you research to ensure you don’t overspend.
The Hourly Rate for an Attorney
Depending on the service quality, you may need to pay more or less for your attorney. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 per hour to $350 per hour.
If you have a large number of possessions, then you may need a more elaborate estate plan. In this case, you may need a more sophisticated financial attorney service.
Alternative Rates for an Attorney
There are some cases when attorneys may charge for their task as opposed to an hourly rate. If you encounter this, it’s important to compare prices and find out what other attorneys are charging.
However, this isn’t overly common; most of the time, an attorney will charge by the hour.
Other Costs to Be Aware Of
Another big expense that can occur upon someone’s passing is funeral costs. With the price of funerals, costs can add up, which is why there are alternatives like cremation. These alternatives can help keep costs down while still receiving first-class service.
What to Look for When Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney
You should consider a few factors to ensure you get the best attorney. This includes looking out for red flags and signs of bad attorney services.
Consider The attorney’s Reputation.
One of the first things we recommend is using a reputable and trustworthy service.
Finding a good attorney is about looking at their track record. You can look at their reviews as they will indicate the quality of their services.
Typically the higher the reviews, the better the service.
It will also give you insight into people’s first-hand experiences of using the service you are looking at and their costs.
Avoid Services With Bad Reviews
If a company has bad reviews, we recommend you avoid them. If a company has bad feedback, then it won’t provide you with a high-quality service.
In this case, you should look for an alternative solution.
Consider the Services They Provide
Another thing you should look at is the type of services that the estate planning attorney provides.
This is about ensuring that the company you are looking at will have the appropriate services to create a thorough estate plan for you.
Get Information on Estate Planning
When considering your estate planning attorney costs, there’s no need to feel stressed. While organizing may seem like a lot, you should take your time.
If you are stuck trying to figure out estate planning costs, use this article for guidance.