Estate Planning Legal Fees


Morey Law, PC

Posted on

Nov 15, 2019


Colorado - Colorado Springs

Maybe even more important than the amount of your legal fees is how those fees are determined. Estate planning attorneys charge in two main ways; hourly and flat fee. Hourly billing is how attorneys have charged since the beginning of time. Hourly works great for litigation since the time required is unpredictable and hourly billing takes care of that unknown. Some attorneys use hourly billing for estate planning as well. They send you a draft and if you want changes or there are mistakes you send it back, they change it and you get a bill. They are also billing you while you are telling them about yourself, your family, your goals and your situation.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, I just don't believe it is the best way to get to know a client and his or her situation. When a client feels rushed because he or she is being charged $5.00 a minute (which is what $300 an hour works out to) the attorney will never get the full story and therefore the documents are unlikely to perfectly reflect the clients needs. Finally, we come to way that most estate planning attorneys charge: flat fee. Flat fee is when you agree to a price before you move forward and the price doesn't change. Since estate planning is helping you design documents that reflect your needs and wishes and there are no other parties involved, flat fee is the way to go. Of course, sometimes it takes a little longer than anticipated but other times it goes a little quicker too. The advantages to the client are: one; no time pressure to tell the full story and two; you know how much it is going to cost before you commit. I like it because not only can I do a better job when I know the complete story, I can tell jokes without the client looking at the clock because no one is $300 an hour funny; well at least Im not.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Ryan N. Morey, Esq. Ryan is an estate planning attorney who owns Morey Law, P.C. and may be reached at 719-465-4324 or by email at

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