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Old 09-09-2011, 11:38 AM
 
5,548 posts, read 4,920,769 times
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I am trying to piece meal together a plan to have an attorney as executor and use Legal Zoom for a will. I am wondering about costs. I want to keep them to a minimum, of course. As things stand right now, I have no will, no executor and if I died today half of everything would go to the state.

So...just wondering if anyone has any familiarity with this process and any idea as to how much it costs to get it done. I'm presuming most of you have family members who are/will be executors but I don't. So I am looking at big bucks I imagine. Not only is it the will, but it's disposing of me, provision for pets, selling of stuff, etc....thanks for any insight.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Huntington, NY
7,738 posts, read 10,854,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
I am trying to piece meal together a plan to have an attorney as executor and use Legal Zoom for a will. I am wondering about costs. I want to keep them to a minimum, of course. As things stand right now, I have no will, no executor and if I died today half of everything would go to the state.

So...just wondering if anyone has any familiarity with this process and any idea as to how much it costs to get it done. I'm presuming most of you have family members who are/will be executors but I don't. So I am looking at big bucks I imagine. Not only is it the will, but it's disposing of me, provision for pets, selling of stuff, etc....thanks for any insight.
I'd like to suggest you have a "live" attorney draw up your will, someone who draws up wills on a regular basis. If you don't have any friends or family whom you would want to be Executor, pick an attorney you're comfortable with (the one who draws up the will perhaps?). Yes, they will get a fee based on the size of the Estate, but the executor and probate fees won't come into play until after your death. (BTW, family members are NOT always the best choices for this "job" anyway.)
You can go online and get information about most of the aspects that will be addressed in a will and start to gather all pertinent information before your meeting with the attorney, which will cut down on the time you need to spend with him/her.

With regard to cost, I'd imagine that'll depend partly on where you live. Attorneys in downstate New York will likely charge more than attorneys in Georgia or Kansas, for example.

BTW, I commend you for doing this - wish everybody did
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:42 PM
 
5,548 posts, read 4,920,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elke Mariotti View Post
I'd like to suggest you have a "live" attorney draw up your will, someone who draws up wills on a regular basis. If you don't have any friends or family whom you would want to be Executor, pick an attorney you're comfortable with (the one who draws up the will perhaps?). Yes, they will get a fee based on the size of the Estate, but the executor and probate fees won't come into play until after your death. (BTW, family members are NOT always the best choices for this "job" anyway.)
You can go online and get information about most of the aspects that will be addressed in a will and start to gather all pertinent information before your meeting with the attorney, which will cut down on the time you need to spend with him/her.

With regard to cost, I'd imagine that'll depend partly on where you live. Attorneys in downstate New York will likely charge more than attorneys in Georgia or Kansas, for example.

BTW, I commend you for doing this - wish everybody did
Well, thank you very much, Elke. I just don't want to leave a mess behind and half to the state (if there is anything left!)

I am a bit at a loss as to how to go about finding an attorney I am comfortable with, but I do have a free consultation next week with an estate attorney. It was the same setup with my now dentist and best dentist I've ever had. I have a couple of Suzie Orman's books so I can read up on wills and trusts. I suppose it's around $1000 to draft a will but I guess I don't want any mistakes.

Everything is going to animal charities and the only tricky parts are my pets and possessions. I know a company can be hired to do the estate sale thing but it really creeps me out to think of my stuff being sold so impersonally. Ah well, that's where the saying you can't take it with you comes in.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:48 PM
 
Location: N. Raleigh
546 posts, read 655,856 times
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FYI, I'm a member at RTP Federal Credit union and they host "wills" days and charge $250 per individual and $400 per couple. It is more than worth it.

RTP Federal Credit Union :: Services :: Other Services :: 2011 Wills Days Event (http://www.rtpfcu.org/home/services/other/wills_days - broken link)

I do not believe it is difficult to become a member.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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We had two wills, two living wills, two medical power of attorneys, and a trust (for a property I own in another state) drawn up in TN for $750. It's well worth the money.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:55 PM
 
5,548 posts, read 4,920,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warriorfan63 View Post
FYI, I'm a member at RTP Federal Credit union and they host "wills" days and charge $250 per individual and $400 per couple. It is more than worth it.

RTP Federal Credit Union :: Services :: Other Services :: 2011 Wills Days Event (http://www.rtpfcu.org/home/services/other/wills_days - broken link)

I do not believe it is difficult to become a member.
Wrong state for me but thank you very much.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Huntington, NY
7,738 posts, read 10,854,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
Well, thank you very much, Elke. I just don't want to leave a mess behind and half to the state (if there is anything left!)

I am a bit at a loss as to how to go about finding an attorney I am comfortable with, but I do have a free consultation next week with an estate attorney. It was the same setup with my now dentist and best dentist I've ever had. I have a couple of Suzie Orman's books so I can read up on wills and trusts. I suppose it's around $1000 to draft a will but I guess I don't want any mistakes.

Everything is going to animal charities and the only tricky parts are my pets and possessions. I know a company can be hired to do the estate sale thing but it really creeps me out to think of my stuff being sold so impersonally. Ah well, that's where the saying you can't take it with you comes in.

mistygrl, you're right, you want it done YOUR way, but $1,000 is at the very, very, high end unless you have a sizeable and possibly diversified estate (again, depending on where you are - I'm on Long Island and paid less).
With regard to the "Estate sale thing", your Executor will handle that and if you have specific ideas regarding how it should be done, you can leave those instructions with your Executor. But you're right, "you can't take it with you" - all that "stuff"

What State are you in?

P.S.: While you're at it, a Health Care Proxy/Living Will (no attorney needed - your State should have a sample online) and a Durable Power of Attorney are additional documents you should have.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Oakland CA
7,604 posts, read 10,628,219 times
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I would bet it's state to state, but I can say in PA, where my mother lived and died, my sister was the executor. She wanted nothing to do with it, other than making some basic decisions, and passed it off to a lawyer. It's my understanding that the executor gets 10% of the estate + expenses. The lawyer she went to wants half of my sister's executor fee. So the lawyer is getting 5%. In my mom's case about 20K.

My sister says since the lawyer is doing all the work, she's forgoing the executor's cut -- but I told her to make sure she's taking her expenses out.... she deserves that.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:25 PM
 
5,548 posts, read 4,920,769 times
Reputation: 2663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elke Mariotti View Post
mistygrl, you're right, you want it done YOUR way, but $1,000 is at the very, very, high end unless you have a sizeable and possibly diversified estate (again, depending on where you are - I'm on Long Island and paid less).
With regard to the "Estate sale thing", your Executor will handle that and if you have specific ideas regarding how it should be done, you can leave those instructions with your Executor. But you're right, "you can't take it with you" - all that "stuff"

What State are you in?

P.S.: While you're at it, a Health Care Proxy/Living Will (no attorney needed - your State should have a sample online) and a Durable Power of Attorney are additional documents you should have.
Ok, thank you. That P.S. sounds very confusing. I'm in AZ. If I had it my way, I'd take all my jewelry with me in the urn! Just like they used to do in ancient times. But somehow I don't think that is going to happen. I just have this thing for pretty things. Granted, most of it's just costume, but it's shiny and pretty.

I thought I'd actually sell it on Ebay at some point but in this economy prices would not be very good. I don't really have anyone to leave it to. Maybe one of the animal charities could have a sale. I guess I'll just have to discuss all this with an attorney and do as much research in advance regarding all you mention that I can.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:30 PM
 
5,548 posts, read 4,920,769 times
Reputation: 2663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
I would bet it's state to state, but I can say in PA, where my mother lived and died, my sister was the executor. She wanted nothing to do with it, other than making some basic decisions, and passed it off to a lawyer. It's my understanding that the executor gets 10% of the estate + expenses. The lawyer she went to wants half of my sister's executor fee. So the lawyer is getting 5%. In my mom's case about 20K.

My sister says since the lawyer is doing all the work, she's forgoing the executor's cut -- but I told her to make sure she's taking her expenses out.... she deserves that.
Oh that it were so easy in my family. It's really a mess. I won't get into it, but I have to review my dad's trust and amendment with an estate attorney as well. My brothers might be robbing it blind and I'd never know it. 'Nuff said.
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