You are looking for a will or a trust, and some documents to protect your family and your assets. Estate Planning is charged on a flat fee basis. Total fees for a simple estate plan (a will, health care proxy, and power of attorney) range from about $1,500 for a single individual or $1,875 for a married couple.
Estate plans involving trusts for probate avoidance are $4,375 and up depending on complexity. Tax planning starts at $7,500. If you have a more complex or unusual planning need, contact me for a fee estimate. In all cases, I can give you a more precise estimate at your initial consultation after reviewing your assets, family structure, and planning needs.
Estate Administration (Probate)
You’ve suffered a loss in your family, and now you need to deal with the estate. Fees for estate administration are billed at our standard hourly rates plus expenses. Each attorney and staff member has a different hourly rate, ranging from $80 – $450. Total fees will range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on how complex the estate is and how much of the work you do yourself versus how much you have me do. In most cases, legal fees will be reimbursable “off the top” of the estate (before it is split among beneficiaries). If we do all of the legal work, expect to spend $5,000-$10,000. If you also want us to be the personal representative (“executor”) or trustee, additional fees will apply. Financing is available for qualified applicants to assist with legal fees.
This is the nightmare of estate and trust administration.
There is a dispute about whether a will is valid, or whether a person was the victim of fraud or undue influence by somebody who wanted more than their fair share, or more than the deceased had planned to give them. Whether you are contesting a will or defending a contest mounted by somebody else, we an help you.
If you need a lawyer who knows how to fight, you’ve come to the right place — Attorney Piltser Cowan got his experience in the trenches of criminal court, cross-examining dirty cops and lying witnesses. As a public defender, he learned how to win hopeless fights, and how to find the one line in a mountain of paper that sinks the other side’s case. Complex investigations to ferret out conspiracy and fraud are our idea of fun, as is representing people who have been accused of such things. Let your nightmare be our field day, but know that it will be expensive. Probate litigation fees can add up to five or six figures, depending on the amount of money at stake and the length and complexity of the fight. Financing is currently available up to $40,000 to assist with the cost of litigation for qualified applicants. We do not take these cases on contingency or defer fees until the conclusion of the case. If you win, though, the court may allow you to have your legal fees reimbursed by the estate or trust.