I have found that all the education in the world is irrelevant to some folks if they don't know the answer to the most commonly asked question…"How much does it cost?"
The answer to the question is that it generally depends on the following factors (or at least these are generally the ones that I use in my practice):
- The amount of protection you want – some folks just want to protect from costs due to probate, while others are looking for protection from taxes. Still others, want to ensure that they are able to ensure the inheritance they leave behind is either used appropriately or protected in the event of a divorce, lawsuit or some other unfortunate event.
- The complexity of your existing circumstances – almost everyone thinks their situation is easy; it is a natural reaction. This may or may not be the case. Some of the factors that can make your situation more difficult might be: remarriage with children from the previous marriage; disinheritance; family business; non-U.S. citizen; or a unique planning situation or request. This list is not exhaustive, but you get the picture.
- The size of your estate – larger estates generally have greater tax implications. A trust should be drafted to properly handle death taxes, which requires more time on the part of the attorney. Additionally, we rarely see larger estates that are only comprised of simple investment accounts. There may be business interests, real estate in different states, and more complicated assets such as intellectual property. A trust must be drafted that can "hold" your assets. This may require more work.
The result is that the cost of the Trust work has less to do with the document than the results intended. Better results generally will require better quality work. The cost therefore will vary greatly depending on what results you wish to achieve.
If you would like to know the specific cost of doing Trust planning for yourself or your family, please feel free to contact me for a consultation. You can get my contact info on my website here.