Attorney Fees for Living Trusts
Unfortunately, there isn’t a set rule regarding the fees attorneys can charge for establishing living trusts. The basis for the fees charged for setting up your living trust should be the complexity of your estate.
Usually, the larger an estate is, the more complicated it will be. The larger and more complicated your estate is, the more research and discussion of the particular issues in the preparation of your trust is needed. Therefore more time is required. After your living trust is set up, there could be considerably more work involved in funding it. Some of that work can be done by your attorney if you so desire.
Just as with other work, the advice is the same:
- Obtain an Estimate ahead of time;
- Seek a second opinion and second estimate; and
- Understand what you are going to be paying for.
As the saying goes – ‘knowledge is power’, you should understand how the legal fees are being determined. Typically, attorney fees are figured on the basis of the amount of time spent on your case.
The attorney’s goal will be to set up the living trust so it best compliments your entire estate plan. He or she will need to review all your assets so that the trust set up for you will be the best possible. The attorney will need to know just what your assets are, what the value is and in whose name everything is in.
Your personal finances will need to be discussed as well as what you plan to do during the rest of your lifetime. And he or she will need to know how you want your estate disbursed upon your death.
The attorney will likely create your trust with a “pour-over will” and most likely draft a few power of attorney documents to assist with your financial needs and medical needs. The signing of all the documents should be supervised by your Car Accident Attorney Kansas City to ensure everything is correctly done. Then your trust will need to be funded. Your attorney could do some of the work involved or give you the instructions to do it yourself.
The more you educate yourself regarding trusts and what you require of one, the more you can save on legal fees. It adds a good deal to the expense when a client doesn’t know much about trusts or what he or she wants and needs to think about it at home, requiring another appointment with the attorney later.
Here is a little more advice about the fees for a trust attorney.
First, don’t choose the attorney only because he or she charges the lowest fees. Since your whole estate plan is based around your living trust, it is very likely the most important document for your estate planning you will have. An attorney who is experienced, pays attention to your needs and spends the time necessary to establish the trust that best suits your needs is worth the extra expense.
Second, don’t consider an attorney who offers a flat fee for a living trust. This is usually not a good idea. Such attorneys have less motivation to take the time to set up the most suitable living trust for your needs. Different people have different needs in a living trust, so one type of trust for one flat fee won’t fit everyone. There isn’t such a thing as a cookie cutter living trust. Every person has different requirements, everyone should be charged according to what they actually need.
Third, interview several attorneys who are qualified in creating trusts and advise them of your financial status. It is likely that you can find one who will work with you of the fees and provide you with a living trust that meets your needs.
Take this advice to heart:
Avoid a cookie cutter flat fee type of agreement. Once you find an attorney that understands what you want and need, and you are comfortable with, get a firm commitment as to the fees.