You know that you’re getting older, and you have decisions that need to be made in your estate plan. Still, you’ve put off doing it, because you know that it can be costly to put an estate plan together.
It’s impossible to tell you exactly how much it will cost to build your estate plan without seeing the complexity of your estate, but there are some average costs that you can keep in mind that may help you feel better about the general cost of estate planning.
The basic cost of an estate plan
When you figure out the basic cost of your estate plan, you should think about the average cost of a will first. Usually, a will costs around $100 to $200 to write, though more complex documents could be more costly. For example, if you have an extremely complex estate with many items to cover in your will, you could expect to pay $300 or more per hour in some cases. Talk to your attorney about working on an hourly rate, flat rate or per-service rate to figure out the best solution for your situation.
Other documents may also add to this cost. For example, if you want to set up your powers of attorney or health care wishes, you will need to have an attorney draw up these documents, submit them to the courts and so on. For that reason, it’s hard to say how much you’ll pay, but you can find out quickly by asking the attorney for their hourly rate and asking about the average their clients pay.
If you think that the cost is too expensive, consider choosing one or two documents to get done at a time until they’re all prepared. Start with your will, move on to trusts and continue building your estate plan until it covers all aspects of your life.
Your estate plan is an ever-changing document
Remember, estate planning is not a one-and-done event. You will need to update the plan in the future, too, so think of it as a living organism that will continue to grow and change with you.