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How Much Do You Charge for a Will?

Wills, like any legal product or service, can have a huge range in pricing – from $10s to $10,000s.

If you want a cheap solution, you can find a Will template on LegalZoom for under $100. You’ll feel like you got off cheap, but in reality, your family will end up paying the rest once you’re no longer here.

Let me explain why…

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Downloading that LegalZoom template might feel like a big step in the right direction, but the reality is you have no idea what you’re doing. I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just stating a fact.

Think about what you do in your day-to-day work. Think about a subject that you’re an expert in, where you’re constantly explaining the details to other people and helping them understand how it works. Do you think somebody could just step in and figure out everything you know in a few minutes? Or would it take a lot of time, trial-and-error, and experience to learn how to do it the right way?

Law is no different. It’s highly technical. And part of the problem is that there are so many different options. When you’re paying for a Will, you’re actually paying for the knowledge and expertise of your attorney. For example, will Legal Zoom help you organize your assets and financial affairs? Will they help you create legacy time capsules that pass your memories and spiritual guidance onto loved ones? Will they help you keep things update to avoid probate?

No, of course not. They will give you a blank template and offload all of the real work onto you. But let’s face it, if you buy a template online, then you’ll actually be passing all that work onto your family. Which brings us to the next point.

Price is the wrong question.

Budget is important! I totally recognize that everybody has their limits and I’d strongly recommend doing something versus nothing. That said, you get what you pay for. We all know this is true, so pretending like you can sneak by with a $100 Will is the wrong mindset.

LegalZoom may give you a basic starter Will just like McDonald’s will give you a decent burger. But is that really how you want treat the assets you’ve accumulated over a lifetime of work? Is that really how you want to set things up for your family? A McDonald’s level of quality?

The question you need an answer to first is “What do I really need to have in place to ensure me, my family, and my wealth is cared for the way I want?”

And the next question is “What’s going to make me feel good about the future and good about myself?”

Far too many people make their estate planning decisions based on what it’s going to cost. Sometimes, that may be the right criteria. Most of the time it’s not.

When tragedy strikes, it’s your family who is left holding the bag.

The point of an Estate Plan is to prepare for the future, whatever that may hold. You want to have full confidence that no matter what happens, your family and loved ones will be provided for. This knowledge will allow you to put your worries and sense of duty to rest and get back to living life to its fullest.

One of my clients said it best:

I wanted to know my children would be prepared to lay us to rest well, but also to live the rest of their lives well.

~ Ferne Sapp

There are some many things that can happen if you don’t create a professional plan:

  • Your plan can become outdated and fail
  • If this happens, your family will end up in an unnecessary, expensive, and very public probate battle
  • They may need to deal with probate in multiple different states
  • This could mean the loss of sovereignty
  • It may also require legal fees for guardianships and conservatorships

Ultimately, a bad Estate Plan can leave your family at the mercy of the judicial system. Is that really what you want? Of course not!

When you hire me, you aren’t paying for documents.

You are hiring me for everything outside of those Legal Zoom templates:

  • You are hiring me for my guidance throughout your lifetime and to be there for your loved ones when you can’t be.
  • You aren’t renting my time, but my brain and my heart.
  • You are hiring an ally who will help you get your affairs in order, and keep them there across time and changes in the law, tax policies and your life.

When you call me and ask how much for a Will, I can’t give you an answer because I don’t even know if that’s what you need. Maybe a Will would suffice for your family, but maybe it won’t. Do you own a business? Do you have out of state property? Do you have minor children? There are so many factors that go into determining the best legal strategy for your particular situation.

Ultimately, I don’t charge for Wills.  I charge for advice, guidance, counsel and support. The Will? It’s free.

How to find the right legal strategy

Our process begins with a Family Wealth Planning Session

Whether I ever write a Will (or any other documents) for you or not, I want every interaction of ours to be extremely valuable to you. Here’s how that works:

  1. Before this Session, you will receive a package of information with homework for you to complete so you can benefit from the time with me the most.
  2. I’ll review the homework you complete before we meet.
  3. We’ll invest our time together exploring your life, looking at what would happen to you, your children, your money, and the people you love if anything happens to you.
  4. You will feel heard, cared about, informed, educated, and empowered to make the best decisions for the people and things that matter most in your life.

If, after we spend that time together, it turns out you need a Will (or any other type of legal planning), it will be because we came to that conclusion together.

Then, I will offer you planning packages that will cover the different options for taking care of things the way you want. I can tell you this – most of our foundational plans range between $1,500 and $8,000.  Your package will be customized to the specific needs of your family.  And you will stay in control the whole time.

How to choose lawyer, if not based on price?

Here are several strategies you can use to find a good attorney:

  • Referrals
    Get referrals from your friends and family.
  • Screening
    When you call the office to inquire about their services, rather than asking what they charge, ask HOW they charge and what makes their office different than others.
  • Reviews & Reputation
    See who stands out in your area. Is there a lawyer who is frequently seen around your community? That lawyer means business and is putting their reputation on the line every day. Give them a try.
  • Local Providers
    Search for a local provider on www.personalfamilylawyer.com or www.estateplanning.com. These two websites host some of the best planners in the world.
  • Personal Connection
    When you find the right lawyer, they will feel like a member of your team and your family for the long term, not for just this one transaction. Your lawyer should be approachable and not only want to be in a long-term relationship with you, but have systems and a team to support that.

Here’s a report I’ve written a report on the common mistakes I see families make when choosing a lawyer for their loved ones. 

DOWNLOAD: 6 Common Mistakes Families Make When Hiring An Attorney.

I hope you understand now why simply asking, “What do you charge for a Will?” isn’t going to get you what you need to make an educated and loving decision for your family.

A far more powerful question to begin with is “What do I need to do to make things as easy for my family as possible, if something happens to me?”

Ready To Do Your Adulting?

Case Studies
We’ve helped over 192 business owners & busy professionals finish their estate plans. Here are some of their stories.

Schedule your free planning session
This is a $750 value and there’s no requirement to move forward! During the call, we’ll get your more financially organized and clearer about the future than you’ve ever been. You can even keep your asset inventory whether you move forward or not. Schedule your free call.