Planning for the future.

Estate Planning Pricing & Descriptions

Pricing & Descriptions For Estate Planning Services.

Estate Planning Overview

For all legal matters, Tom offers a free one-hour consultation.

Every person has an estate, no matter what particular assets they own. An estate does not require that you own any land or real property. An estate can be as small as the clothes on your back, or as large as you can imagine. Estate planning is the practice of deliberately coordinating and organizing your affairs so that your loved-ones can manage your estate in the event that you become incapacitated or deceased. Whether or not you need just a simple will, or a slew of more complex trusts, depends entirely on your situation and your goals. 

Tom prepares many estate planning documents on a flat-fee basis, so you know exactly how much you can expect to spend on your documents.  The most common documents that Tom prepares are Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, and Revocable Living Trusts.  The fees for these services are broken into packages of documents for either individuals or married couples. 

PLEASE NOTE: The flat fees listed below are for the preparation of documents with minimal estate-tax planning.  If your estate requires substantial estate-tax planning (most do not; see FAQ) please contact our office for an estimate. 

 
Father and Daughter Holding Hands

Estate planning for individuals

PACKAGE  I - A Last Will and Testament:

The most basic estate planning document, a last will and testament should be used to answer the most common questions when a person has died:  How should the assets be distributed? Who should be in charge of handling my affairs?  Who will take care of my children?  A simple will does not avoid probate, but it will ensure that your wishes are carried out.  Flat Fee: $350.00

PACKAGE II - A Last will and testament, durable powers of attorney, AND a health care directive

A will is great for setting plans for when you have passed away, but it is also important to plan for what happens if you become incapacitated while you are still living.  Using durable powers of attorney, you can designate one or more people as agents who then have the authority to act on your behalf if you are legally or mentally incapacitated.  Powers of attorney can be used specifically to designate agents for health care decisions and general financial decisions.  A health care directive, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to make decisions for yourself ahead of time relating to end-of-life situations and life support.  Flat Fee: $500.00

Package III - Revocable Living TruST, Durable Powers of Attorney, a Health Care Directive, and supporting documents

A revocable living trust serves the same purposes as a will and mostly replaces the will, but unlike simple wills, revocable living trusts avoid probate.  A revocable living trust is a separate legal entity that holds the title to some of your assets (particularly real estate, which otherwise often requires probate to transfer when you've died) and dictates how those assets will be distributed.  A revocable living trust is the most common tool used to avoid probate and is relatively simple to create, but it can be a bit more involved to manage than a will.  Tom would be happy to discuss the pros and cons to using a trust, and to help you determine whether you need one. Flat Fee: $1,250.00 (not including county recording fees relating to real estate transfers)


Estate planning for married couples

PACKAGE  I - Two Wills:

Each member of a married couple should have their own individual will. A last will and testament answers the most common questions when a person has died:  How should the assets be distributed? Who should be in charge of handling our affairs?  Who will take care of our children?  Simple wills do not avoid probate on their own, but they will ensure that your wishes are carried out. Combine with a community property agreement to avoid probate when the first spouse passes. Flat Fee: $500.00

PACKAGE II - two wills, two sets of durable powers of attorney, AND two health care directives

Although married couples share many legal rights with one another, a good estate plan helps to remove any doubts about your outcomes. In addition to wills, this package includes powers of attorney that will authorize someone to make decisions if one or both spouses become incapacitated.  In most cases, each spouse names the other as their primary agent and then has a series of trusted alternates.  A health care directive can be used to spare a spouse from making difficult end-of-life decisions.  Flat Fee: $650.00

Package III - A Joint Revocable Living TruST, two sets of Durable Powers of Attorney, two Health Care Directives, and supporting documents.

A revocable living trust serves the same purposes as a will and mostly replaces the will, but unlike simple wills, revocable living trusts avoid probate.  A revocable living trust is a separate legal entity that holds the title to some of your assets (particularly real estate, which otherwise often requires probate to transfer when you've died) and dictates how those assets will be distributed.  A revocable living trust is the most common tool used to avoid probate and is relatively simple to create, but it can be a bit more involved to manage than a will.  Tom would be happy to discuss the pros and cons to using a trust, and to help you determine whether you need one. Flat Fee: $1,800.00 (not including county recording fees relating to real estate transfers)

Family at the Park

Signing Wills and Trusts

standalone documents

Durable Powers of Attorney and a Health Care Directive for Individual: $150.00

Two Sets of Durable Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives  for Married Couple: $200.00

Community Property Agreement: $150.00 ($50.00 if combined with Married Packages I or II) - A community property agreement is a contract between spouses that can help to avoid probate if just one spouse has died.  The agreement changes the nature of both spouses' property so that everything they own is owned as community property, even if it would have been separate property otherwise. Community property agreements do not work well in every situation, so it is important for a married couple to consult an attorney before signing one.