For many of our estate planning clients, we charge a fixed fee. More and more we find that our clients have greater satisfaction when paying a fixed fee rather than by the billable hour. Charging hourly rates may discourage clients from understanding the elements of their plan or taking the time to ask questions. A fixed fee allows us to devote the time that you need to develop and understand your plan. It also helps to eliminate administrative and billing tasks – a savings we can then pass on to you.
For our clients that need probate and other help with estate administration of a non-contested matter, we charge a minimum fee, plus out of pocket expenses. For estates that may involve high number and type of assets, or many beneficiaries, we may elect to charge hourly rates in addition to the minimum fee. At intake, we will make that determination and we will advise accordingly. Time and time again, we have been told by clients that getting our professional services to help with estate administration was invaluable in proportion to the small fee. We do require clients to pay the minimum fee as a retainer, and in most cases, our client can be reimbursed for any fees advanced by them on behalf of the estate. We do not accept probate matters on a contingency fee arrangement.
Contested and Court Matters
Litigation, will contests, guardianship and conservatorships are billed at hourly rates. The costs of such proceedings must always factor into the decision to bring such actions. We will be upfront about our fees and help you make decisions knowing that litigation can be unpredictable and costly. We do require clients to pay a retainer and we do not accept matters on a contingency fee arrangement.
Once you establish a relationship with our office, future services may be available at a reduced fee because of our familiarity with your family and your finances. If a client completed their estate planning with our office, our attorneys make themselves available for quick questions at no charge. Probate and estate administration for clients whose estate plan we prepared also pay a reduced minimum fee. Maintaining a relationship with you and the next generation has always made our work fulfilling and meaningful.