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What is reasonable fee to draw up a Codicil to an already existing will?

Boston, MA |

I just needed my will updated so that my daughter instead of brother in law is the executor of the will. What is a reasonable fee?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Impossible to answer this question without more information. Many times clients have indicated a desire to do "just one thing". Then either in the office consultation or subsequent telephone conversations there was "just one more thing". Then "and another thing" and after a while there were a fair number of items to review and include in the final document. It is not uncommon for a Boston attorney to charge $500 per hour or more. Out here in the burbs, our rents are generally lower and we charge less, anywhere from $200 - $375, on average. So, multiply these numbers by the number of hours that your job will take and you have your answer.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


  2. Each attorney sets his own fee schedule and some attorneys do not charge for an initial meeting. Also, attorney fees vary according to the attorney's experience as well as the location of the attorney within the state.
    Usually the attorney who originally drafted the documents charges a minimal fee to update this documents. However, if you have moved from another state, you would need to meet with a Massachusetts attorney.

    Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
    Circular 230 Disclaimer: Any information in this answer may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  3. Attorneys Myers and Cross have given you a good basic discussion about the fees that might be charged. Please be careful about deciding what you need before your consult with an attorney. Many times clients have asked me to only "do a Codicil" when in fact their entire estate plan needs revision. Just as it is never a good idea to diagnose yourself before you see a doctor, you should take the time to meet with your attorney and make a complete analysis of your existing plan. Then you can decide on the best course of action.

    If your original Will was drawn up by an attorney here in Massachusetts, make a call to that office. As Attorney Cross pointed out, attorneys often charge very little to update plans that they wrote in the first place. However, if you wrote your Will while you were living in another jurisdiction, you should make an appointment for a consultation with a Massachusetts attorney who can ensure that your estate plan meets the requirements here in the Commonwealth.

    If you have additional questions, please feel free to call the office at 617-369-0111.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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