A man enters a prominent lawyer’s office. The man needed legal help, but he knew how expensive lawyers can be, so he inquired,
“Can you tell me how much you charge?”
“Of course”, the lawyer replied, “I charge $500 to answer three questions.”
“That’s outrageous. How do you sleep at night?”
“Very well”, replied the lawyer, “What’s your third question?”
No one likes to write checks to lawyers (or to plumbers, or cable companies, or roofers for that matter). However, establishing a wealth preservation plan for one’s family may be a life altering event for the ones you love. The plan can serve as a safety net for children having a bad stretch in life or having creditors and/or ex-spouses lining up to attach their own assets. It has to be viewed as an investment for your family, not as a whimsical expense.
Other axioms to consider:
- You get what you pay for
- Pay me now, or pay me later.
Two sayings that you have heard before that apply to your “wealth preservation” plan as well.
Our fee for a tailored plan may be more that a general practitioner who dabbles in bankruptcy, real estate, divorce, and, oh by the way, estate planning. Trusts, wills, probate administration – those are our specialties. We have the expertise to provide you with a sophisticated plan that will pass the test of time. Our fees, however, will not be as exorbitant as the large law firms that have to cover their excessive overhead costs. And everything is up front concerning fees – there are no surprises or sticker shock at the end of the project.
“Pay me now or pay me later” means you can address your wealth preservation needs now, or pay court and legal fees later to have (1) a guardian/conservator appointed for you if incompetent or (2) your estate probated through the courts because you failed to create and fund a trust during your lifetime. And your estate can pay more estate taxes – money that could be used for the education of your grandchildren. It makes financial sense to get it done and to have it done right the first time.