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Estate Planning Process and Fees

Creating an estate planning checklist is a smart way to ensure your interests are covered during life and your stuff goes to your desired beneficiaries on deathWhat’s the process?

No two clients are alike. Nor are estate plans. At Hanley Law, we custom tailor each plan based upon a client’s unique needs and personal wishes. We’ve found that some clients like to begin with an initial face-to-face meeting while others prefer to work via email or phone. We are here to accommodate your needs and preferences.

We can usually wrap up your plan in two meetings (or less if you decide to communicate online or via phone).

Initial Meeting

The initial face-to-face meeting (or online/phone discussion) is a fact-building process, whereby we obtain the information needed to prepare the plan best suited for you.  We discuss your objectives and answer any concerns. Once we’ve found a plan to suit your needs, we’ll quote you an all-inclusive price to create your estate plan.

If you decide to work via email, we will send you an estate planning questionnaire to start the process.  Answering the questionnaire provides us with all the information we need to properly tailor your plan.

You are under no obligation to pay anything for the initial meeting or work done via email or phone. We will enter into an attorney-client agreement at the end of the initial meeting (or once you deliver the questionnaire) so you can be confident about the estate planning documents your getting and the fixed project price you’ll pay.

Prepare and Review Documents

After we gather the facts about your estate planning wishes, we prepare the estate plan and deliver it to you for review. We can mail, email, or fax these documents for your review, whichever is most convenient for you.  Any changes you have will be incorporated and final documents are then prepared (at no additional cost).

“Sign-off” Meeting

The final step is signing the finished documents. We provide witnesses (for your will) and a Notary Public (for all the other documents) at no additional charge. Once signed, we then process the documents, transferring any real property into your Living Trust to avoid probate. You’ll receive the documents for your records at the sign off meeting, and we can keep the originals for safe-keeping at no extra cost. Of course, if you ever have a question about your documents, we’re here to answer them.

What’s the Fee?

The fee is affordable. The standard fee for a married couple is $2850. The standard fee for a single person is $1850. The price may vary slightly depending on the complexity of the plan. Again, you are under no obligation to pay anything until we reach an agreement.

There is also recording cost of $50/deed (for primary residences) that needs be recorded with the county recorder. Any additional deed(s) (non-primary residence) recording cost is $125/deed.

The standard estate planning package includes the following documents:

  1. Living Trust;
  2. Pour Over Will;
  3. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances;
  4. Advance Healthcare Directive; and
  5. Certified Abstract of Trust Agreement.

We also prepare trust transfer deeds to transfer real property into the trust by recording the same with the county recorder.

We provide copies of all documents to you at the “sign-off” meeting, and will be custodian of your original wills and trusts, if you desire, at no additional charge.

Updating your documentation is cheaper than the fees quoted above. Call for details.