What About The Cost Of Estate Planning?
Let me answer a question with a question.
Estate planning is an investment in you and your family. Estate planning is not about you, it is about them. Planning is an investment in love designed to protect your spouse, children, and other loved ones.
Estate planning is a financial investment. Where else can you invest a dollar and get back $2, $3, or more? A plan on $300,000 estate (not uncommon) is $2,500. Probate and other expenses on that estate are about $18,000. You put in a $1 and your family pulled out $7.20. That is a 720% return on investment.
If you could empower yourself to protect your children, yourself, your family, and your property against the rigors and unforgiving nature of the courts and law for less than the cost of a convenience store cup of coffee a day, would you pay that much? What about financial predators? Creditors?
Joe bought $1.85 mediocre coffee every day at the convenience store. Instead he started taking a cup of good coffee from home and started putting that money in a jar. At the end of a year he had $481.00 stuck in the jar. (Imagine if that was a $3.00 Starbucks cup of coffee. That would be $780.00 in a year).
That’s right. For less than the cost of a lousy cup of coffee, you can protect your children, yourself, your family, and your property.
For that measly amount, you are getting a well thought out, custom, individualized plan, not a “box” plan from the office supply store or online. You can get legal advice, not just a form to fill out.
There is something to the saying “you get what you pay for.” Lisa did an online will but did not get part of it notarized. This could have caused a big problem later if it was not caught during other work being done by an estate planning attorney. The overall cost would have been much greater than having a custom plan done.
The overall cost includes not only the attorney’s time, but training, assistants, witnesses, drafting, proof reading, and overhead of the building.
This does not include transferring assets to any trust(s) created. Excess asset transfers will add to the base price. If you don’t transfer your assets, then any trust created is worthless.
Any Supplemental Needs Trusts will add to the price.
If the attorney has to go to your location, then travel time at the hourly rate will typically be added.
Breaking this down by a minimum every 5 year review, you are looking at $1.21 per day. That is less than the cost of a cup of cruddy convenience store coffee every day.
Finally, don’t expect bargain prices if you just need a single document. An attorney, like a CPA or doctor’s office, has an overhead to open the file, make notes, do the work, and close the file.