Cost of a quality will?

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inthearena
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Cost of a quality will?

Post by inthearena » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:14 am

With google being pretty helpless on this topic, I turn to the trusty Boglehead groupmind.

My wife and I recently moved states (MD to OH) and are redoing our will to adhere to Ohio law as opposed to Maryland. We met with a lawyer that was referred by a trusted friend (also a lawyer). The modifications they suggested all made logical sense for protection of assets and simplicity upon death, etc. etc. But the total cost of the redraft is looking like it's going to be ~$3000+! Got a bit of sticker shock, though I know it will probably pay off in the long run and it's better to get things out of the way now (we're both 28 with a 2 year old and planning on having 1-2 more children).

Am i getting fleeced or is this pretty par for the course?
"Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you." | -John Wooden

Dottie57
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:20 am

I paid $2500 for will+trust+well written healthcare dorective (end of life) . This also included durable POA.

bsteiner
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by bsteiner » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:25 am

It depends on who and where. In the same way that it would be more at a large DC firm but not in a small firm in the northwestern corner of Maryland, It would probably be more at a large firm in Cleveland, but not at a small firm in, say, Akron or Dayton.

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inthearena
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by inthearena » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:28 am

It's a durable will + trust + health care directive with POA. Being completed by a midsize firm in Cincinnati.

Has anyone regretted paying for a will? Or had good/bad experiences executing one?
"Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you." | -John Wooden

Gill
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by Gill » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:37 am

inthearena wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:28 am
It's a durable will + trust + health care directive with POA. Being completed by a midsize firm in Cincinnati.

Has anyone regretted paying for a will? Or had good/bad experiences executing one?
You probably mean a pourover will. Not sure what you mean about regretting paying for a will. I suppose it's a waste of money until you die, but presumably it will eventually become worthwhile. :happy As for experiences executing one, that should take less than an hour in the lawyer's office and that is usually a happy occasion because the work is finally done.
Gill

Ruger
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by Ruger » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:48 am

I just redid my will. It was $700 which included not only the will but POA and advanced health directive.

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CAsage
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by CAsage » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:27 pm

Suppose you viewed this like insurance - protection against a certain risk. If you presume that you own most of your assets as joint (husband/wife) and are each other beneficiaries.... What you are really insuring at this point is that your estate and children (far more critical) are properly cared for in the very unlikely situation that both of you die simultaneously and suddenly. Do you have a lot of significant assets right now?

If you have modest/normal assets for a young couple starting out, you might consider a simple will that designates guardians for your children (most important - financial and physical) and a simple testamentary trust that puts your assets aside for them. That might cover most of your need for years to come. The problem with spending a lot on a complex package (trust, etc) now is that things can change a great deal in the next 20 years and you will have to pay again to change it .... over and over. For example - trusts are often used to control inheritances for spendthrift heirs, or special needs cases, or to protect people in case of divorce etc. Too soon to know. Note that I am NOT a lawyer, but have redone my will/trust more than once. Needs change. Be clear about what you are protecting and preventing now - and think about it again 5, 10, 20 years from now.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:31 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:20 am
I paid $2500 for will+trust+well written healthcare dorective (end of life) . This also included durable POA.
This was what ours cost as well. It also included re-titling of appropriate assets and all by a well qualified and respected trust attorney. Follow-up questions (within reason) are handled through e-mail at no cost.

My wife and/or our heirs now also have someone to provide guidance when that time comes.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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heartwood
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by heartwood » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:40 pm

inthearena wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:14 am

My wife and I recently moved states (MD to OH) and are redoing our will to adhere to Ohio law as opposed to Maryland.
We did our estate plans some ten years ago, shortly before retirement. We were unsure which state we'd wind up in. Our attorney wrote the documents to conform with the laws and practices in the several states we considered. I suggest you ask your attorney how you might geography-proof your new documents to avoid a repeat if you move again.

We've met with our attorney a couple of times since the docs were drawn, more for life changes than anything else. It's probably time for a review given changes in federal tax laws.

bsteiner
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by bsteiner » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:50 pm

The original poster and his wife are 28, have a 2-year-old child, and may have more children.

Presumably they either have assets or life insurance, or both.

There are a few possibilities as to how they provide for each either, but regardless of how they provide for each other, they'll want to provide for their child(ren) in trust rather than outright.

So they'll need Wills with provisions for each other, trusts for children, a provision for what happens if no one in their immediate family is living, and perhaps powers of attorney, living Wills and health care proxies (or the Ohio equivalents). They'll also need to coordinate the beneficiary designations for their life insurance and retirement benefits.

Whether this is simple or complex is relative.

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inthearena
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by inthearena » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:20 pm

CAsage wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:27 pm
Do you have a lot of significant assets right now?

If you have modest/normal assets for a young couple starting out, you might consider a simple will that designates guardians for your children (most important - financial and physical) and a simple testamentary trust that puts your assets aside for them.
bsteiner wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:50 pm
Presumably they either have assets or life insurance, or both.
Thank you for the thoughtful responses. Our combined net worth is a bit over half a million (not including our term life insurance). The original attorney we met with (on my old companies dime) set us up with a testamentary trust. But based on what the new attorney was explaining there seem to be better options. I was looking more for an understanding of how others in the Boglehead community have set up wills, etc. Since this community has much more experience than I, I've found it to be invaluable for questions like these. And you all have come through yet again!
"Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you." | -John Wooden

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munemaker
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by munemaker » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:29 pm

I just prepared ours using a copy of Quicken Willmaker Pro, borrowed from the public library. It also prepares a well-written health care directive and POA. Our situation is simple though.
Last edited by munemaker on Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bsteiner
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by bsteiner » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:32 pm

inthearena wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:20 pm
... Our combined net worth is a bit over half a million (not including our term life insurance). The original attorney we met with (on my old companies dime) set us up with a testamentary trust. But based on what the new attorney was explaining there seem to be better options. I was looking more for an understanding of how others in the Boglehead community have set up wills, etc. ...
Yes, you would include trusts for your children in your Wills. You would also include trusts for each other in your Wills, though they might either be mandatory or else only if the surviving spouse disclaims some or all of the deceased spouse's assets.

Since you're likely to keep your Wills for a while, you might also include a second set of trusts for your children's shares of your retirement benefits (upon the surviving spouse's death).

Given your age and assets, it's unlikely that you'd be giving away assets now.

The difference in quality is mainly in the flexibility of the trusts under your Wills.

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CAsage
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by CAsage » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:00 pm

inthearena wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:20 pm
CAsage wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:27 pm
Do you have a lot of significant assets right now?
Thank you for the thoughtful responses. .. Since this community has much more experience than I, I've found it to be invaluable for questions like these. And you all have come through yet again!
Awesome! A young family with a modest income would have a different solution. I find one of the best things about this forum is the RANGE of answers and thought input you can get. Lots of good choices help guide you to the right one. BSteiner is still the law superhero.... I'm the cheapskate.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

gtd98765
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by gtd98765 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:25 pm

munemaker wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:29 pm
I just prepared ours using a copy of Quicken Willmaker Pro, borrowed from the public library. It also prepares a well-written health care directive and POA. Our situation is simple though.
+1
https://www.nolo.com/

LarryAllen
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:56 pm

$1,000 for will package and $2,500 for trust package as estimate. That's for well qualified estate planning attorney. Easy to spend more or spend less but that should be an experienced estate attorney.

hudson
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by hudson » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:21 pm

inthearena wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:14 am
With google being pretty helpless on this topic, I turn to the trusty Boglehead groupmind.

My wife and I recently moved states (MD to OH) and are redoing our will to adhere to Ohio law as opposed to Maryland. We met with a lawyer that was referred by a trusted friend (also a lawyer). The modifications they suggested all made logical sense for protection of assets and simplicity upon death, etc. etc. But the total cost of the redraft is looking like it's going to be ~$3000+! Got a bit of sticker shock, though I know it will probably pay off in the long run and it's better to get things out of the way now (we're both 28 with a 2 year old and planning on having 1-2 more children).

Am i getting fleeced or is this pretty par for the course?
My wife and I got a will plus all the other needed documents for $300. Our credit union had a program where they hired a lawyer that specialized in wills, trusts, and estates etc. Updates were around $75.

jminv
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Re: Cost of a quality will?

Post by jminv » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:39 am

legalzoom.com

$69 dollars for a will. If you want a power of attorney and living will too the combined package is $149. Thet commonly have $10 off promo codes (google legalzoom promo codes). Have it notarized at your local bank or if your bank doesn't offer notary services, most UPS locations have notaries. Price is under $20 there.

I've used them for wills, living wills, power of attorney, trusts, company formation, and property deeds. They're fine for these and you'll save a lot of money compared to using a local lawyer. Legalzoom relies on volume and a scalable platform to drive down costs.

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