Estate planning fees are cheap in comparison to not planning
Estate planning fees will differ from firm to firm. Some will charge an hourly rate for the initial consultation and information gathering, then charge a flat fee for the documents and plan. Some will charge by the hour. And, some will charge a flat fee for their estate attorney fees. Expect to pay more if your situation is more complex than normal. I.e. a second marriage situation.
Planning is a Life Long Process
Estate planning law changes from time to time. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Tax laws change, it seems, every year. And tax laws can affect your estate planning. Also, when children are born, go to college, leave the house, etc. you need to plan again. When you get ready to retire, it is time to plan again. When you see long term nursing care on the horizon, it is time to plan again.
Want to know the best part?
Estate planning is not that difficult.
You will find estate planning easy and straightforward
Ascertain the assets you own
For basic estates this is often an easy step. You have a house, 2 cars, and some other stuff. Done. For large estates, it may take a while to inventory everything, but it has to be done.
Determine how you want your estate distributed
You may think this is the easy part, and may be if you have only been married one time and only have children from that marriage. However, in the second marriage situation, often it is not easy to determine where you want your estate to go.
Decide on the means of transferring your assets
This is where you need the help of an estate planning professional. There are many options on how to transfer assets and each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Execute your estate plan
This step means to sign the papers, make deeds to any property that needs transferred, and setup bank accounts to meet your transfer needs.
Review your estate plan
Every time there is a major event in your life you should review your estate plan. These events include marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death, children turning 18, and retirement to name a few. Even if you do not have major life events, a tune up every 3 to 5 years is recommended.