The cost to a client for legal services is typically based on time. To help reduce your fees, and in view of my 20+ years of experience as a lawyer, I can help narrow the focus of what you need for your particular situation for core estate planning documents and can fit my recommendation within a flat-fee.
You will get excellent documents that I design based on certain key factors for your situation. I will also give you the choice of certain options, and explain these options, as part of this process.
The additional cost to you based on hourly rates with your involvement in the process as to each and every possible option and choice generally does nothing more than increase your fee, with your lawyer still most likely pointing you appropriately in the direction of what he or she recommends will work best for your situation.
Here is where the hourly fee approach often gets more expensive. Some clients due to their preference, personality, occupation (e.g., engineers and doctors) prefer a more hands-on approach as though they are co-chairing my work. This is certainly fine, but it does have a direct effect on increasing the hourly time (thus, the client’s cost) in preparing core estate planning documents. There is no right or wrong approach. The important factor is that the approach is your choice and works for you.
Regardless of whether you pay a flat-fee or hourly fees, it is essential that your documents include the necessary flexibility to address future, unanticipated developments in your situation and future changes in the law that can affect you and your family. This built-in flexibility is, in my view, the difference between average documents and excellent documents. I, of course, include this flexibility within the design of your core estate planning documents, for both the flat-fee and hourly fee approach.