The fee for having a basic will written can be as little as $150, but it can cost $1,000 or more if complicated or additional estate planning documents are required. A do-it-yourself will creation kit can be purchased online or in stores for less, but this may be too generic. The low end for having a lawyer draft a will is around $300, but it can easily cost $1,000 or more.

Hiring a Lawyer vs. Doing It Yourself

Do-it-yourself kits for creating and filing a legally enforceable will have gained in popularity due to the minimal cost involved. Kits can be purchased for as little as $10, but the basic will documents contained within may not cover every life situation that should be addressed. Hiring a lawyer to draft a document may cost anywhere from $100 per hour to $400 per hour or more, but the legal advice that comes with a consultation may produce a better result.

A Will vs. a Living Trust

A will covers how assets will be distributed upon your death and allows you to appoint a guardian for any minor children. A living trust is a more comprehensive estate planning tool that covers not just the issues that a will addresses, but also allows for the establishment of medical and legal power-of-attorney if you become incapacitated; it also appoints a successor trustee to handle any legal and financial matters upon your death. Living trusts typically cost $1,000 or more to establish but are considered more complete planning tools compared to a will.

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