Did you know that more than half of all Americans die without a Last Will & Testament in place? Do you know what happens to your belongings after you die, if you haven’t legally established who will take possession of them? If you’re not sure, or if you want to learn more, you should definitely consider looking into getting yourself an attorney for Wills and trusts.
Most people don’t like thinking about death – it’s an anxiety-provoking topic. However, it is also an eventuality. One of the things that can make it easier to prepare for your death is to hire a professional, an attorney who specializes in estate planning, last Will & Testament documents, and probate.
Your last Will & Testament is a legal document that lists your assets and indicates your wishes about who will take possession of these items after your death. Assets that can be included in a Will include real estate, vehicles, stocks and financial investments, and business ownership, along with many others.
Every state has a set of laws regarding what happens to people when they die, if and when they don’t have proper legal documents in place. The government will seize the deceased person’s assets and a judge decides how the assets should be distributed. This process is called Probate and can take many months, depending on how many assets the person has.
Having a Will in place before your death can reduce the probate process for your family members. Having a relationship with an attorney for Wills and trusts can give them someone to help guide them through the process, if needed.
Depending on your situation, you may also consider establishing various types of trusts to cover your rights and ensure your assets are managed while you are still alive. In case you can't manage them yourself. What if a medical emergency occurs? Who will make decisions for you? How will the costs be covered? And who will help make sure the payments happen, if you can’t do it yourself?
Speaking with an attorney for Wills and trusts can help you understand whether or not you need a Trust in your situation. You may need an estate with both a trust and a Will, especially if you have many assets, a spouse, children or extended family involved in your finances, or other special circumstances.
An attorney for Wills and trusts may vary their rates based on the specifics of your situation.
It’s not uncommon for a lawyer to charge a flat fee to prepare Wills and other estate documents. The simpler the document and the fewer the assets that need to be included, the lower the flat fee might be. Some attorneys base this fee structure on the length of the document or how many addenda are included.
The simplest Wills may be around $500, depending on where you live and the regular rates and probate laws in your area.
It’s not uncommon for a Last Will & Testament package from an attorney for Wills and trusts to cost around $1,250-1,500.
Many attorneys structure their fees for estate planning and probate-related services in an hourly rate. This will allow the attorney to charge for phone calls, meetings, and research related to your estate planning. Typically, you will receive an invoice that reports the billable time your lawyer spent related to your estate.
The hourly rate for a probate or estate planning attorney can vary by your location and the size of the legal firm. Smaller, local firms may have lower rates than larger firms. Firms that specialize in this particular area of law may charge higher rates. They will also be the right choice if your situation is complex and needs specialized attention.
Hourly rates for attorneys for Wills and trusts can range from $150-350 per hour. Make sure to do your research the find the right lawyer to suit your needs.
Secure your future. Eliminate questions and obstacles for your family after your death. Having the right estate planning or a Will in place – depending on your needs – is going to be worth it. Speak with an attorney, and you can walk away with the peace of mind knowing that you’ve done the right thing.