The other day I dropped by our insurance agent’s office and, on the way back to the car, I noticed that he’s located directly adjacent to an attorney’s office. So, on a whim, I popped in to get a rough idea of how it would cost to have a will prepared. It’s been over a year since I first wrote about needing to update our wills, and we’re still sitting on our hands.
To be fair, part of the delay was due to our recent relocation — once we knew that we’d be moving across state lines, we thought that it might be best to hold off. But now I’m on a mission…
Our needs are pretty simple — my wife and I just need wills naming each other as beneficiary, naming a guardian for the kids, and setting up a testamentary trust in the event the we both die while our kids are young. When I inquired about ballpark pricing for this sort of work, I learned that he handles simple cases such as ours for just $100 apiece ($200 total). Needless to say, I was a bit surprised by the price… I was expecting to be quoted something in the $500 range.
This all got me to thinking… While I don’t want to cut corners on something as important as a last will and trust and end up with a worthless document prepared by a half-wit, I also don’t want to unnecessarily blow a bunch of money. So am I right to think that $100 is awfully cheap for getting this sort of thing from a real, live lawyer? Obviously, I’ll be checking around with friends and neighbors for recommendations before we settle on a course of action. But never having had these sorts of documents prepared professionally, I’m still a bit uncertain as to how much we should expect to pay.
Another thing that I’ve been looking into is LegalZoom. They offer exactly what we need for just $69 apiece with a $10 discount if your spouse wants a ‘mirror’ will. Here again, I want to be sure this is done right, as opposed to simply selecting the cheapest and/or most convenient option. I’ve heard good things about them when it comes to things like setting up an LLC, but I’ve never dealt with them myself.