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Alexandria, VA Estate Planning Blog

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Much Does an Estate Planning Attorney Cost?

How much does an estate planning attorney cost?

Answer: It’s not cheap, but the costs of not planning (or improper planning) can be devastating.
 

Just consider two aspects of estate planning. Let’s assume the following:
a) Your beneficiary is likely to become divorced, and
b) You have an estate over 1 million (2 million)
 

Did you know that your beneficiary’s divorcing spouse may receive more than half of your beneficiary’s inheritance and that the current tax law may impose a 55% estate tax in 2011 on every dollar over 1 million.
 

E.g.,
In 2011, you die, with a will, and leave an estate worth 2 million (life insurance, home, retirement benefits, stocks) to your child Adam. The government assesses an estate tax of $550,000 (55% x 1 million). Adam’s wife, Eve, is awarded 50% of the property during a divorce proceeding. Thus, Adam ends up with $725,000 of the 2 million you left him. OUCH!!!!!
 

DID YOU KNOW: An estate planning attorney would likely have shielded the entire estate from the divorcing spouse and entirely avoided the assessed estate tax?
 

While we argue that everyone needs an estate planning attorney, not everyone is willing or able to pay the fees. The fees are high because there aren’t many estate planning attorneys and the issues are complex.
 

When you high a competent estate planning attorney, you are hiring a professional to secure your legacy during your life and after death. You’re hiring someone to create and implement a plan that protects your loved ones from plaintiffs, creditors, divorcing spouses, the government, and the imprudent actions of a spendthrift beneficiary.   
 


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