How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Wisconsin?

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Wisconsin residents often underestimate the value of estate planning and the significant savings that come with working with a lawyer. While drafting a will or trust yourself might save you money in the short term, you could be setting yourself up for later financial headaches or costly, lengthy legal disputes among your family when you die. Working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney might cost a little more upfront, but you’ll likely save money over the long term.

Before you hire a Wisconsin estate planning lawyer, you need to understand the potential costs you might face and how working with a capable lawyer can save you money and help you avoid later legal hassles.

Estate Planning Costs in Wisconsin

Estate planning is about ensuring your assets and loved ones are taken care of after you die. In Wisconsin, the cost of setting up an estate plan can vary depending on how you choose to do it.

DIY Estate Planning Costs

Handling your estate plan on your own can be cost-effective, at least initially. The cost of online legal documents or software usually ranges from $50 to $200. These tools help you create basic wills, trusts, or power of attorney documents. However, it’s crucial to consider the potential additional costs of the DIY approach. If your estate ends up in probate, which is a common scenario when you don’t get a lawyer’s help, the probate process can cost anywhere from 3 to 7 percent of the estate’s value. Additionally, if disputes arise among family members, resolving these issues can lead to thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Costs with a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer to manage your estate plan ensures a tailored approach, which is particularly beneficial if you have a larger estate or specific legal needs. In Wisconsin, lawyers may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for estate planning services. Flat fees for a basic estate plan can range from $1,000 to $3,000, with more complex situations potentially costing more. Hourly rates typically range from $200 to $350 per hour. This fee covers consultations, document preparation, and ensuring your estate plan meets all legal requirements.

How Estate Planning Lawyers Save You Money Over the Long Term

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can save you money in the long run by ensuring your estate plan is thorough and legally sound. A skilled attorney knows how to tailor your plan to minimize taxes, avoid probate costs, and reduce the potential for costly disputes among your heirs. By addressing these issues before they become problems, an attorney helps you safeguard more of your estate’s value for your loved ones. Additionally, having a professional handle your estate planning means you avoid the common pitfalls that can arise from DIY estate planning, which often leads to expensive corrections later on. This proactive approach helps ensure your financial legacy is preserved as you intended.

Contact Our Wisconsin Estate Planning Law Firm Now

Waiting to start your estate plan can lead to significant legal headaches and keep your heirs from recovering their rightful share of your estate. Call Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C., today or complete our contact form for a confidential consultation.