How Much Does Estate Planning Cost
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How Much Does Estate Planning Cost?

The costs of estate planning will undoubtedly vary based on several factors. On average, a basic will written can cost between $100 to $250. A more complex plan, however, can cost upwards of $300 per hour for an experienced estate attorney. Let’s look at this process and what you can expect as you come up with an estate planning budget.

What Is Estate Planning?

Property ownership, relationships, and lifestyle changes are what life’s all about. When compared with the Kardashians, you may not feel your modest assets deserve mention in a will or a trust fund for the kids. But even if you don’t own a Caribbean Island or a fleet of collectible cars, you need to understand estate planning basics.

You need estate planning because everything in your life has value. But for many people, death and dying is an emotional subject, especially when you’ve recently married or had a child. What you want to avoid is drama. If you understand estate planning basics, you’ll know why you should make provisions for your valued property – financial and nostalgic – by acting now. Estate plans are especially appropriate:

  • After marriage.
  • Before marriage.
  • During divorce.
  • Following a child’s birth.
  • Upon the death of one or both parents.
  • When you are facing health issues.
  • When you realize you are not immortal.

Estate Planning Process

You want to do what’s best for your family, especially your children, so estate planning basics should be discussed as soon as possible. Estate planning is like insurance, and you should regularly review and change it when necessary. You can engage another family member to join you when you understand estate planning basics and are ready to act. Here’s the 5-step process the Ogborne Law estate planning professionals will employ:

  • Assess – Let’s discuss your family dynamics and evaluate your assets. What are your goals? What are your concerns?
  • Plan – We create an initial estate plan that incorporates your goals for your family and addresses your concerns.
  • Review – You’ll review and edit documents, and we’ll make required changes.
  • Implementation – When the documents are exactly as you wish, you will sign-off.
  • Check-up – So many changes can occur in just one year! Tax time is a good time to review your estate planning documents and update.

Types Of Estate Planning Fees

Of course, not all estate attorneys will use the same exact pricing system. It’s certainly possible to receive a variety of estimates depending on the attorney you speak with.

When coming up with a budget for the estate plan, it’s crucial to know which type of plan you want and the costs associated with said plan. Let’s take a look at the typical fees below.

Hourly Rates

If your attorney cannot commit to a fixed fee, he or she is likely to charge an hourly rate instead. This encompasses any time your attorney is working on your case. If the attorney asks for an hourly rate, they may also request a retainer before diving into the case. This could either be the total amount or just a portion of it.

Hourly rates typically come into play when the attorney believes your estate plan will require extra time and/or effort due to its complexity. They may also have an hourly rate that is consistently used based on their experience and knowledge of estate planning.

Flat Fees

Flat fees are fixed prices your attorney can offer to accommodate their work on the case and overall experience. These fees will cover the preparation of necessary documents, including a will and/or power of attorney. It is possible for some attorneys to include a notary or other help with trusts.

The attorney could require you to pay a portion or total amount of the flat fee before their work has begun. It’s recommended to ask about payment expectations for flat fees and what is covered ahead of time.

Contingency Fees

A contingency fee is used in circumstances where you will receive monetary compensation. For instance, when you win a case and money is awarded, you are to pay your attorney a percentage of the winnings. Due to this, estate planners aren’t likely to use contingency fees. However, if you wish to settle an estate, a probate attorney could use this type of fee.

Keep in mind that these costs do not take into account anything that your estate could end up paying if you fail to plan properly for your retirement and beyond.

Estate Planning Cost Factors

Fees are simply one variable that can impact your total estate planning bill. Special considerations or tasks can increase the cost. You should know what to expect ahead of time, so it’s recommended to speak with an attorney and ask for an estimate. Always pick the attorney that best suits your needs and budget.

Type Of Estate Plans

Estate plan costs will vary based on the unique needs of each and every plan. The lower end can include a basic will written for as little as $100 to $250, as mentioned above. A more complex plan, however, can cost upwards of $300 per hour, according to SmartAsset.

If you wish to have something that reflects your situation and take the necessary measures to protect your valuable assets, the plan will cost more. Costs also depend on how many documents must be prepared, such as a power of attorney and the circumstances of your desired heirs.

Tips To Save On Estate Planning Costs

This process can be unpredictable and costly. Based on your situation, you could end up paying some unexpectedly high fees. Planning accordingly will help you to save money.

Use these tips to minimize your costs:

  • Find the right attorney: Take your time to research and get estimates. Schedule an in-person consultation with each attorney, if possible.
  • Plan ahead: Know what a basic estate plan entails and figure out if you will need more documents.
  • Discuss costs upfront: Whether in-person or on the phone, it’s always wise to get a consultation fee estimate and other rates.
  • Write down everything: Once you have found the right attorney, make sure you include a written document signed by all parties.


There is definitely no “one size fits all” when it comes to estate planning costs. Always be aware of your options when it comes to this process. Using a lawyer will be more expensive than a digital DIY estate plan, but your plan will be more likely to hold up in court.

*These are cost estimates. Contact the team at Ogborne Law, PLC for more information!

Speak With Our Estate Planning Attorneys In Phoenix, Arizona Today

Estate planning is the right thing to do for the people you love. It’s another way to say “thank you” to those who love you. Some of the decisions are hard, but at Ogborne Law, we will help you navigate these difficult decisions.

Your Arizona estate planning attorney can help you select a will or trust or both. Your estate solution will work for you. You will have the peace of mind that comes with effective planning for the future. Call 602.343.1435 or contact Ogborne Law with questions.