One of the most common questions I’m asked is “How much will it cost for an estate plan?” or “What are your Fees for an Estate Plan?” The answer is always the same, “it depends.” It depends on what needs to be done. But, proper estate planning needs to be viewed as an investment. The cost of not working with the right attorney to set things up properly can be much greater.
The Cost of Not Planning
There are some simple statistics that help illustrate the cost of not engaging in proper estate planning. The first is the cost of probate. There are numerous sources that site the cost of assets going through probate as 3-5% of the total assets. With a proper plan in place, you can avoid Michigan probate.
Long-Term Care Costs in Michigan
The average cost over all of Michigan for a nursing home is $8,282. If the planning I suggest can help save months and months of nursing home costs, then is the investment worth it or does it make more sense to pay $8,282 per month until your family runs out of money.
Missing VA Benefits
Many families report that they wish they had entered our office years ago, because they could have been receiving up to $2,120 per month, tax free for a number of years had they engaged in our services years ago. Unfortunately, they either spoke with the wrong lawyer, found the wrong information on-line or spoke to the wrong family or friend, who led them astray.
Leaving Family Members Unprotected
Most of the estate plans that I review leave everything outright to their loved ones. This could cost them their own inheritance. What happens if you leave everything to your child and then she then gets divorced, where do the assets go? What if your child is on disability or receives state assistance, such as Medicaid? What if your child has debt or other money management issues? Your estate plan should address these issues head on.