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How much does a will cost and what are my options?

One of the most important things you can do for your loved ones is to create an estate plan. The process involves writing a will, which will help ensure that you can protect your loved ones after you leave. Most people agree that writing a will is an expensive ordeal that requires a lawyer, but you actually have a few options that can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees.

We will cover the cost of a will and provide you with some cost-effective solutions to help you make an option. The complexity and size of your property will be important in determining which option is best for you!

Do You Need a Living Trust or Will?

Including a living trust or will in your estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that your finances and family are safe after your death.

According to the American Bar Association, if you die without a will, the state you live in will have the power to distribute your assets according to the laws of that state. Creating a trust is more complicated, but if you don’t need to name a guardian for the children and want to make a private agreement, it may be the right option for you.

A allows you to provide specific instructions on how you want your assets to be divided after your death. In addition to your property and personal assets, you can also name a legal guardian to care for a child who is a minor when you pass away. You will then select an executor who will fulfill your legal wishes.

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Options for How to Make a Will

When people think of writing a will, they usually assume that it will cost them thousands in the form of attorney fees, but you have options when it comes to writing a will. Some are more cost-effective than others – but it is important that your will is legally binding and valid.

Three of the most common options for making a will are a holographic (handwritten) will, a do-it-yourself will that you create online, or a traditional will that is drawn up by a lawyer.

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A holographic will is the most economical option because it free, You must completely handwrite and sign, and meet all state-specific requirements in order to be valid, which can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with estate planning. Be sure to research the requirements for a holographic will in your state and talk to an expert if you are unsure about how to do it correctly. Any error in your will can lead to consequences and potential problems for your loved ones after your death.

A free holographic bequest may be a solution for you if you have no dependents and have relatively simple assets. However, this is not recommended if you have more complex assets and a family to protect.

Important achievements: Making a holographic will may sound tempting because there are no associated costs, but it will probably cost you in the long term because it’s not really legally binding if done wrong.

Do-It-Yourself Will Cost

If you have fairly simple assets that vary from state to state, but are typically less than $100,000, do-it-yourselfers are another cost-effective option. You can download free templates or purchase kits for about $20 that give you instructions on how to fill out the template, making the holographic will less likely to make easy mistakes.

You can also create a more customized will and make sure it is legally binding by using the online will maker to avoid any errors. These companies will help you create the documents your estate plan will need as you begin end-of-life planning. Online will prices vary depending on the number of documents you create, the monthly fee versus flat fee, and if an attorney provides guidance, but you can expect to pay upwards of $200.

Planning for your property is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. These premade templates aren’t always the best choice for the specifics of your property—the state you live in, your goals, or your personal needs—and it may be time to consult an attorney.

Important achievements: Using an online will maker reduces the chance of error in your DIY will, but you should still have an attorney with you to make sure it holds up in court.

The Cost of Making a Will with a Lawyer

If you have a complex estate, hiring an attorney to ensure that your will is legally binding and error-free can be a great option, but it can be costly. Many factors can affect the fees associated with hiring an attorney and can cost you several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Important achievements: Hiring an attorney to draft your will is one of the best ways to ensure that your estate plan is iron-clad and free of loopholes or discrepancies that can be challenged after your death. Is.

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1. Your Location

Each state has its own estate planning laws and requirements for a legally binding will, so it can be important to find a local attorney who is familiar with your state’s ordinances to prepare your will. The cost of living where you live will also affect how much your attorney costs.

2. Value of your property

The larger and more complex the property, the more time your attorney has to give, which means the more you’ll have to pay. Larger assets over $1 million may be better suited for a trust rather than a will, as trusts are more comprehensive and avoid the probate process, saving your beneficiaries time and money. The more valuable your property, the more you can expect to pay for your will.

3. Your Lawyer’s Experience Level

If you hire a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience, their fees will be much higher than a lawyer fresh out of law school. If you have a smaller and less complex property, you can save some money by hiring a less experienced attorney. If your property is complex, it is recommended that you hire an expert lawyer which comes with a high price tag.

4. Your Attorney’s Fee Structure

Your attorney will charge you either a flat fee or an hour to meet with them and prepare the will. If they charge an hourly fee, it’s important that you at least get an estimate of the costs before you start and know what their hourly rate is. Most attorneys charge between $100 and $400 per hour or more, depending on their experience level and the difficulty of the case.

If you’re aiming to save some money, but still want the peace of mind that your wish will come true, see if an attorney is willing to consult with you and look at the will you made yourself.

Bottom-line

It’s never too early to start planning for your future – and that includes your death. The passing of a loved one is already a stressful time, so having a plan for when it happens to you will make the process easier for your friends and family.

You have options when it comes to writing a will, and you don’t have to empty your wallet to do it. Don’t let the cost of making a will deter you from taking this important step to give you peace of mind and ensure the safety of your loved ones.

Don’t leave your estate planning to chance. As you make your will, work with our team of experts to make sure you’re investing in the right places to set you and your family up for financial success.

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