Completing an Estate Plan
For a complete Texas estate plan, we will recommend that you execute at least five documents. For a brief description of each of these and why each is important, see this link. If you are married, you should also know which of your assets are your separate property and which are shared community property. For a brief discussion of the difference, see this link. To schedule an initial free consultation, please contact us today.
Estate Planning Process
Every estate plan is unique. To ensure we appropriately tailor your estate plan to your situation, the estate planning process will require at least two meetings with one of our Dallas estate planning lawyers. At the first meeting, we will discuss your assets and estate planning goals to ensure that we draft your estate planning documents properly for your individual situation and objectives. The second meeting will be the formal execution ceremony where you will sign your estate planning documents in the presence of two witnesses and a notary.
Here is what is required to draft an estate plan:
- Schedule an initial free consultation. At this meeting (which is not one of the two required meetings and can be done via email or phone), we will go over what an estate plan entails, answer any questions you may have about the process, and discuss your estate planning goals. If you’re interested, we can provide you with a flat-fee quote based on some basic information about your family, the size of your estate, and your estate planning objectives.
- Sign an engagement agreement with us and schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss specific aspects of your estate plan.
- Fill out our estate planning worksheet. This worksheet will include: (a) information about your assets and how you would like those assets distributed, (b) information about who you would like to make decisions for you regarding medical care and management of your property if you are unable, and (c) if you have children, information about who you would like to take care of them if you are unable.
- Meet with us to review the worksheet and to discuss specifics of your estate plan. We will then draft your estate planning documents based on our discussion, provide copies for your review, and make any necessary corrections.
- Schedule an execution ceremony at our office. At this ceremony, you will sign all of your documents and have them witnessed and notarized with the formalities required to make them legally valid and binding.
Estate Planning Cost
Because everyone’s situation is different, the cost to develop and execute an estate plan can vary. In general, a complete simple estate plan for a married couple will cost between $1200-1500. For an unmarried individual, it will generally cost between $700-1000. We offer you the option of flat-rate billing or hourly billing. We can discuss our flat-fee rate or a projected hourly cost for your specific situation at our initial meeting.
Our fee will include a meeting to determine your estate planning needs, drafting of your documents, and execution of the documents at our office with the required formalities. If you need additional trusts drafted, if you have children from outside your current marriage, if you are a couple with significant differences in your estate plans, if you have substantial or complicated specific bequests, or if tax planning or other more complex planning is needed, there may be some additional cost. If your estate plan is more simple, the cost may be less.
For more information or to begin your estate plan, please contact us today.