Most attorneys, including Elder Law Attorneys, generally do not charge a fee for the initial consultation with a potential client. Fees for subsequent legal work will vary based on the type of service provided.
As is true with all specialties, there are certain types of legal matters that elder law attorneys handle. Some common matters include the following:
- Medicare and Medicaid coverage for long-term care
- Estate planning and administration of estates
- Guardianships or conservatorships
- Establishing and administering various types of trusts
- Probate matters
Most elder law or estate planning attorneys charge a flat rate for the services provided. However, each client’s needs are different, so it is difficult to simply provide a list of services and applicable rates. At Sexton, Bailey Attorneys, PA, we always explain in detail the plan we propose and inform our clients as to the fees for all options in advance.
Common services included in Estate Planning
Estate planning is basically making a plan in advance, which names the individuals you wish to receive your assets after you die. Comprehensive estate planning should also include some of the following options:
- Instructions for your care if you become disabled
- Identifying a guardian and manager for the inheritance of minor children
- Provisions for family members with special needs
- Provisions for loved ones who may be unable to manage their own affairs
- Life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance
- Plans for transferring your business at your retirement, disability or death
Once your plan has been established, it needs to be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations change throughout your lifetime. Even if you believe you may not be able to afford a complex estate plan, you can always start with something simpler. As your needs change and your financial situation improves, you can expand your plan as necessary.
Attorney fees for probate work
In Arkansas, the fees attorneys can charge of probate work is set by statute, based on the gross value of the estate. The attorney’s fee schedule is as follows:
- 5% of the first $5,000
- 4% of the next $20,000
- 3% of the next $75,000
- 2 ¾% of the next $300,000
- 2 ½% of the next $600,000
- 2% of the balance
In addition to attorney’s fees, there are some other fees that can be expected during the probate process, including court fees, personal representative fees, accounting fees, appraisal and/or business valuation fees. Court fees and personal representative fees are also set by state law.
There are also other miscellaneous fees that may be incurred depending on the nature of the estate. These can include the cost of postage to mail notices to the Personal Representative and beneficiaries and to mail documents to the court and taxing authorities; the cost of insuring and storing personal property; shipping personal property; and the cost of moving personal property. These fees are all deducted from the estate being probated.
If you have questions regarding elder law services and fees, or any other estate planning needs, please contact Sexton, Bailey Attorneys, PA, online or by calling us at (479) 443-0062.