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Old 05-20-2011, 03:35 PM
 
10,835 posts, read 14,853,426 times
Reputation: 5095

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I visited the lawyer that handled my father's documents.
The will was going to cost me $300.
I was to inform him about my desire for a durable power of attorney, as well as a health care power of attorney.
When I got home, I forgot that I had not asked the total cost. I
called and was told $500, so it sounded like the latter two documents were $150 each.
So, I sent him a letter naming my beneficiaries and will executor (with two alternates) and health power of attorney (with two alternates).

I get an "engagement letter" with 7 paragraphs of stuff.
1. Preparing the documents.
2. The fee.
3. Your (my) review.
4. Your (my) safeguarding duties.
5. Changes in the law.
6. Termination of the agreement.
7. Misc.

The fee for the will and health care power of attorney is $500.

I remember being told that any future changes, if only a name, might run $100, or slightly less, depending on the nature of the change.

I assume, since I have named alternates on both, and there may not be a need for name changes, then the $500 for all 3 documents has turned into $500 just for the two documents.

Anyone gotten such an "engagement letter?"

Under #5, it says they can, if they desire, inform me of any changes in the law that might affect my documents, but they are not obligated to inform me. And they would inform me voluntarily, and might not even attempt to contact me.

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,365 posts, read 3,700,708 times
Reputation: 4105
The formal engagement letter is a good practice.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:27 PM
 
10,835 posts, read 14,853,426 times
Reputation: 5095
I wondered if it was standard or whether there was something about my documents that made it needed. My father never had such an engagement letter. Is this lawyer "shaky" about something?
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,497 posts, read 62,167,040 times
Reputation: 32182
Quote:
Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
Is this lawyer "shaky" about something?

I say no. Not in the least.

I recently "engaged" an attorney to handle a matter for me in another state.
I had asked for something like this but he was johnny on the spot with providing it immediately.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:44 PM
 
10,835 posts, read 14,853,426 times
Reputation: 5095
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
I say no. Not in the least.

I recently "engaged" an attorney to handle a matter for me in another state.
I had asked for something like this but he was johnny on the spot with providing it immediately.
I thought, maybe, that something I wanted on my documents, might have been legally questionable, and he wanted me to sign away his liability.

I do not have this in my will, but my father did:
My father had a clause that his daughter's husband should never possess, acquire, etc. any item that my father owned. So, the lawyer put that in the will because my father wanted it there.
Well, the daugher was co-beneficiary, so how could he prevent her from giving or leaving some of the things she inherited, to her husband? The answer is shs could do what she wanted. So, I was told that clause in my father's will was not enforcable and no judge would uphold it. No one would go digging up a copy of his will, 40 years from now when his daughter is 95 and say "let's go to X state and locate this little old lady and make sure she never gave any of her father's items, to her husband, either as a gift, or in her own will."
So, there was a case of this same lawyer creating a will that contained instructions that legally were not enforceable. My father wanted to call out his step son-in-law, by name and paid the lawyer to put it there.

Also, this lawyer created my father's health care power of attorney.
He named me AND my sister (not me OR my sister).
However, my sister stopped life support, without my knowlege and permission. I was out of touch but would have been in 5 hours.
I have that is another thread on this same forum, somewhere.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:23 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,497 posts, read 62,167,040 times
Reputation: 32182
You're getting yourself overwrought with things that (I believe) don't matter.
And I'm specifically NOT addressing those things.

As to the "engagement" thing... I think this is more about an expression used for distinction between a retainer where there is a continuing relationship and perhaps a more undefined endpoint to that vs a clearly limited assignment. A "job of work" so to speak.
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