Tailoring and creating a Will is one of the most important and generous things you can do for those close to you. While it’s a smart choice to have this settled well in advance, it’s no secret that adequate and proper estate planning can cost you.
No matter how you approach the topic, creating a valid, legal Will that accurately accounts for all of your assets after your death is no easy task – even for smaller estates. Not only does it take solid planning, dedication and conversation, but it will also cost you money.
Here we’ll take you through the details of engaging a lawyer to create a last Will and testament, what the common rates are and what to expect.
Factors influencing the cost of a Will
The cost of making a Will in Western Australia can vary. In theory, Wills can be done at next to no cost whatsoever. But it’s worth noting that no two Wills or Estates are the same. This means everyone will have different needs and timelines. Planning an estate can be an extremely delicate and complex process and the cost that arises from this planning can depend on a number of factors:
- The size of the estate
- Whether you plan to include any trusts in your Will (for example a Testamentary Trust)
- The complexity of the assets involved
- The complexity of your family structure (for example, blended families)
- The nature and number of your beneficiaries
- The expertise of the estate planners involved
Other factors that may impact the cost of your estate planning could be if you require other documents, such as:
- An enduring power of attorney
- Advanced health directive
- Enduring power of guardianship
What is the cost of making a Will with a lawyer?
In Western Australia, the costs of estate planning differ from firm to firm, and it is nearly impossible to give a cost estimate without knowing a person’s individual and unique circumstances. Generally, when dealing with lawyers who are experts in estate planning, you can expect the cost of making a Will with a lawyer to be in the vicinity of:
- From $2k for a single Will
- From $4k for a husband and wife mirroring each other’s Wills
- From $5k+ for a single Will containing multiple testamentary trusts (TTs)
- From $6k+ for a married couple with mirroring Wills that contain extra TTs
While other firms may charge an hourly rate, we believe a straightforward Fixed Price arrangement is more transparent. This gives our clients peace of mind knowing that any extra administrative work is covered by the fixed price quote.
What to avoid when creating your Will
A last Will and testament is an important document that will impact the lives of those around you for years to come. More than that it will be a decisive factor in how you are remembered. As your last gift to those around you, it’s important to get this right. Sadly, many things can go wrong when creating a Will. Here’s what to look out for:
Online “DIY Will Kits”
Many online Will kits offer you the chance to draft your own Will and pay a small fee to download the document after having filled it out with your personal data. Besides the risk you take by entering this sensitive information online, there’s a good chance that these kits will not properly account for your specific circumstances, let alone distribute your assets appropriately.
When you enter into an agreement with a legal attorney, it’s important you know what they’re offering you. Often, we hear stories of people being ripped off by exorbitant hourly rates, where Will and Testament planning costs have ballooned due to miscommunication about the complexity of the task. At Solomon Hollett Lawyers, you can trust our expert team will assist you in properly defining a set price for your estate planning needs.
Thinking your estate won’t fluctuate over time
When you’re drawing up your estate plans, it’s important to remember that your estate Will change as your circumstances change. This includes the dollar value of your assets, your net worth, the structure of your assets and the makeup of your family unit. It is often useful, when thinking about distributing your estate, to think in terms of percentages rather than dollar values, as this method won’t require constant updating (especially if you intend to distribute to multiple beneficiaries equally.
How to get a headstart on writing your Will
Creating a Will that is legally sound is one of the best gifts you can leave those closest to you. But managing the time spent on creating a Will and the time you’ll need to engage lawyers for this process should be offset by some of the groundwork – much of which you can get a headstart on. Before you speak to an estate planner you can already start thinking about the following:
- Writing down all assets under your name
- Writing down all assets you control by other means, such as through companies and existing family trusts
- Be clear about your wishes – even the smaller ones that may seem less important
- Listing all beneficiaries and their details (full name, date of birth and address)
- Gathering details of your financial accounts
- Taking stock of any valuable family heirlooms
Create your Will with estate planning experts
When it comes to passing down a family estate, no one wants to leave any stone unturned, or any loved ones un-catered for. That’s why creating your Will with estate planning experts here at Solomon Hollett Lawyers is the safe way to go.
For expert legal advice on how much Wills in Perth cost, get in contact with our qualified estate planning lawyers. We look forward to working with you.