Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chicago Estate Plan | What Does a Will Cost?

   What does a will cost? This question is asked over and over again to attorneys. I sometimes think people don't understand that an Estate Plan is not a commodity. When you are looking for gas for your car, gasoline is a commodity. One gallon of gasoline, for the most part, is no different than another gallon of gasoline. An estate plan is as unique as you are. Since an Estate Plan is all about you and your wishes, each Plan must be tailored to the individual. The other thing that I find interesting is that people ask what the price of a Will is, not even knowing if a Will is what they need.

   Let me compare this request to a scenario that would never happen. Pretend you are trying to get fit so that you can run a marathon. You have done no exercise for five years and have put on a few pounds. You then go to the hospital and tell the doctor, I need to lose weight so that I can compete in a marathon. You then ask him how much for liposuction so that your thin self can run faster. Now I know this situation  sounds ridiculous. No one would begin to tell a doctor the treatment needed for a problem they have. You would tell the doctor the symptoms you are having and your medical history. When individuals deal with lawyers though, they ask how much for treatment. They do not even know if the treatment will fix what ails them.
   As a general rule, a Will alone will not solve the clients Estate Planning needs. I will plug my website, which is a great resource in regards to what Estate Planning Tools are available to help distribute your assets and care for your children. I request you not ask a lawyer how much a Will costs and instead ask what tools need to utilized to plan for the future. If a lawyer answers your question, how much is a Will, it is probably time to move on to another lawyer. The lawyer who will give you a blanket price will not take you into account when planning your future. Without knowing about you, your family, your assets and your plans for distribution, a lawyer has no idea what you need and could never quote you a price for the proper estate plan that will carry out your wishes. It is best to allow your lawyer to collect information about you, design a plan for you and then inform you as to the price of that plan. You an your attorney can then dissect that plan to fit your budget and desires. If you would like to speak to an attorney in the Chicagoland area about an Estate Plan, that will include a Will, go to my website by clicking The Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole. As always, feel free to ask questions and post your comments. I love to answer reader questions and get suggestions about future posts.


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