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will and estate planning

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  • will and estate planning

    I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and am looking to create a will and revocable trust for my family. As I'd like to get this process right, I'm thinking about hiring an attorney to help with this. Any suggestions about finding a reliable and a fairly priced attorney in my area for this purpose? Also, what should I expect to pay for this service, ballpark?


  • #2
    My brother is an attorney so I asked him. He advised we use a smallish legal group. Most people who don’t have insanely complex estates will be well served with that type of set up. He said that would probably be the best bang for your buck. Also advised against legal zoom as getting a will wrong (highly state specific) can cost your heirs tens of thousands and potentially put your kids at risk. Suggested that might be penny wise but pound foolish.

    We are actually meeting with an estate attorney next week. We’re paying a flat fee of $1,500 all included for estate plan - wills, trust, POA and advanced directives for me and my wife. Talking to my brother $1-3,500 is probably reasonable if you don’t have an insanely complex. I talked to another group who wouldn’t give me a price and another who was in the low $2k range.

    I asked around to the folks in my group. One person highly recommended her. My neighbor is a financial advisor and she is also the person who their firm refers to. I think getting multiple recommendations from different circles clinches the deal.


    • #3
      I suggest talking to colleagues and see who they use. We ended up using the recommended lawyer of my father-in-law, who happened to be a financial planner and insurance salesman.


      • #4
        I would expect to pay at least a couple thousand dollars.

        As said above, ask your colleagues.  Preferably ones that are older than you and have a lot more money. 

        Otherwise you can look for an estate planning specialist in your area, or an ACTEC fellow.


        • #5
          We chose ours because he is widely referred to in our northern IL city and is wicked funny, based upon decades of experience. He ridicules everyone involved, esp. the beneficiaries.  His fee structure was $1000, $3000, or $5000; but I don't remember what it was based upon.


          • #6
            @dsog - Mike Rhoades does a great job and charges on flat fee structure that is based on the documents you need ($3-5k). His office is in Northbrook. I have no affiliation.

            Financial Planning for Physicians | [email protected]


            • #7
              Also consider that these documents will likely be modified as the dynamics of your life change. So find someone that you can work with for the foreseeable future.

              Since having children, we are on our third document revision.