When we are young, we are more focused on building a career and increasing earnings. Over time, our aspirations turn to creating wealth, and by the time we reach retirement, we start thinking about creating a will and estate planning. A will makes it easy for our loved ones to handle matters related to our wealth and assets, which is why it is a crucial part of retirement planning. However, a number of professionals – working and retired – forego estate planning, as they are unsure about the costs involved.
Let’s try to understand the different aspects of estate planning costs.
The importance of estate planning
Once you have calculated how much you should save for retirement, the next thought you should have is about your belongings and wealth if something was to happen to you. This thought crosses everyone’s mind at some point in time and that is where estate planning comes into the picture. An estate plan is a document that includes important details about what would happen to one’s property and wealth after their demise, and who would be responsible for the distribution process.
Is estate planning expensive?
This is one of the most common questions that a number of people have in their mind. The uncertainty of estate planning costs also deters some people from creating a will altogether. A number of factors may affect estate-planning costs: the experience and expertise of the estate-planning attorney, the expertise of the financial advisor, local and statewide practices and their respective costs, etc.
How much does it cost?
The cost of estate planning may vary from region to attorney to the processes and practices involved. Let’s look at some factors that affect estate planning costs.
- Estate planning attorney fees
Every estate planning attorney will have their own set fees, depending on their experience and expertise. Some attorneys do not charge any fee for the first meeting. The attorney, however, would charge a fee for your estate planning thereafter. The number of hours, the number of employees, the complexity of the matter, documents to be prepared, and other such factors would determine the fee of the attorney.
- Flat fees
Some attorneys may charge a flat fee for the entire job. They would determine this fee based on the size and complexity of your estate, the kind of documentation that will be required to be prepared as part of the job, etc.
- Hourly fees
Some attorneys may prefer to charge a fee by the hour. It is advisable to understand the hourly rates and the processes that they follow to calculate it. In this case, you could compare hourly rates of others providing the same service and choose the one that suits your budget.
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t usually work for determining estate planning costs. Every person’s assets are different and hence, each one needs a personalized estate plan. Some matters may be complex, which may require extra expertise, experience, time, and sometimes, may involve extra expenses. The complexity of one’s assets is a key factor that is considered in the cost of estate planning.
Estate planning can be a one-time job or could be an extended affair. Some attorneys undertake estate planning management as well. It is most advisable for people to review their wills at regular intervals. As a person’s wishes change, the will must change too. Hence, if you are expecting continued services from the attorney, the fee may vary based on the services.
To sum it up
Estate planning is an important process to ensure the well-being of your loved ones when you are not around. The cost of estate planning depends on several factors, but nothing should stop you from having a proper plan in place. If you are selling your property then also estate planning is very important.
Don’t have an estate plan? Consult financial advisors and leverage their expertise and experience in estate planning services. Already have an estate plan? Financial advisors could review it and help you make necessary updates to reflect your present plans.
Author Name: Team WiserAdvisor
About the author: WiserAdvisor helps you find the best financial advisors. By creating great content like this article, the team at WiserAdvisor hopes to spread awareness and helpful information about financial planning, retirement planning, and similar topics.