How much does a Will or Trust cost?

How much does a trust cost?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “How much will it cost to get my affairs in order?” or “How much does a Trust cost?” What our clients like is that we have clear, up front pricing. During our initial consultation we’ll discuss what it is that you want to accomplish and the simplest way to do so. Typically, our clients know to the penny what the amount will be before we get started.

Why is up front pricing better than hourly billing?     

When attorneys bill hourly, they have an incentive to work slow. And because clients know that each phone call or email will be logged and billed for, clients are hesitant to ask questions. With up front pricing, we encourage you to contact us throughout the process- after all, it is your estate plan that we are putting together, we want to work with you to make sure that it does just what you want it to do. Communication is key to making sure that happens.

The Cost of Not Planning

Consider Alex who never got an estate plan because she was concerned about how much it would cost. When Alex died, her children had to take time off of work to travel from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau, hire an attorney in Cape Girardeau, and pay the attorney an out-of-pocket retainer to represent them. At the end of each month, Alex’s children received an invoice for the work that the probate attorney performed the prior month. Needless to say, it quickly became expensive. And the expense went on for month after month. Finally, after 10 months, the children were able to get the probate case closed. Yet, for 10 months, Alex’s children had to waste their time and money in probate court. The point of this example is clear- Alex was penny wise and pound foolish. By not planning while she was alive, it ended up costing her children much more money, not to mention the time, aggravation, and hassle of her children having to deal with court proceedings over 10 months in a county an hour and a half away.

How Do I Get Started on a Will or Trust?

My practice is focused on Estate Planning (Wills & Trusts) and Elder Law (Asset Protection). This is what we deal with day in and day out. The first step is scheduling an initial consultation where we will discuss what it is that you want to accomplish and then the simplest way to make that happen. Call 573-334-5125 and speak with Heather or Theresa to get a consultation scheduled today.



Giving to a Charity through Will or Trust

Looking for a beneficiary? Consider a charity.

Recently a client of mine said, “Mark, we know that we should have done a Will or Trust a long time ago but we haven’t because we just don’t know who I want our property to go to. We don’t have any children, we’re not especially close to any of our nieces or nephews, and we keep putting this off because we’re just not sure what to do.”

My response was along the lines of, “You’re not the first client who has had this issue. I’ve seen clients do about everything you can think of – give it to children, give it to relatives, give it to charities, and even give it to a trust to care for their pet animals. You just tell me what you want to happen, and we can almost always find a way to get it done.”

After a week of thinking about it, the client called to say, “we’ve decided to give 20% to our relatives and to divide the rest of it among different charities that we like.” I said, “no problem. You give us the names of the charities and we’ll take care of the rest.”

We’ve helped clients with a variety of charities

Over the years, we’ve helped people design gifts to a number of charities – some local, some not. One website that we have found especially helpful in finding out more about charities is Their website aids clients in understanding the Financial Health and Transparency/Accountability of different charities.

Charity - St. Jude
I enjoy supporting ST. JUDE’S and running in their 1/2 marathon the first weekend of December

Here’s a list of some of the charities for which we have helped our clients design gifts.

  • Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Humane Society of Southeast Missouri
  • Mac’s Mission
  • Animal shelters
  • Safe House for Women
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • American Red Cross
  • Doctors Without Borders USA
  • Save the Children Federation
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Greenpeace Fund, Inc.
  • Sierra Club
  • Southeast Missouri University Foundation
  • A variety of churches and religious organizations (from Baptist to Catholic and Mormon to Unitarian)

There are some important considerations with giving gifts including how to ensure your gift goes to what you want and maximizing the tax benefits of your giving. We’re happy to help – especially when it comes to charitable gifts.