If there are low-cost alternatives, please advise.
This would apply to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I do flat fee estate planning and we are a nonprofit so our prices are generally lower that traditional counsel. I typically do bundles for people. I would need to talk to you to determine if a living trust would be better than a will in your situation so that you can avoid probate, etc.
Feel free to give me a call to discuss it. Our website is www.allforthefamilylegalclinic.org General pricing for a basic will, with durable Power of Attorney and medical directive is $300 per person. General pricing for a basic living trust, Pour over Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Medical Directive is between $600-$1000 depending on your assets, income, and family size.
This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents. My firm is All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc. a nonprofit public benefit corporation that charges on a sliding scale based on income and family size. For a consultation contact us 510-999-7732 or at our website www.allforthefamilylegalclinic.org
I much prefer using deeds in this situation. The problem is, the estate planning tool of choice in Michigan is a lady bird deed. I understand that California does not recognize nor allow lady bird deeds. I think that means you need to sit down with a California estate planning attorney and see if there is an equivalent tool you can use, or perhaps something better for your needs. If it WERE a deed, it should not cost any more than a Will to prepare. The nice thing is, if set up properly a deed would avoid the need for probate. A Will does not.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
A basic Will for one person would cost $250.00 in my office. However, that is not what makes sense for 90% of my clients. Life is not simple and proper planning for disability and death attempts to make things less complicated and expensive for your family. In all likelihood you should have a Advanced Health Care Directive and/or Property Power of Attorney.
I would suggest looking for a qualified attorney on this website or at naela.org.
Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.
You really need to do estate planning. You need at least a will, a living will/advanced medical directive, and a durable power of attorney. You need to have an overall estate plan for all your assets. Costs for attorney vary based on experience, years in practice, whether they are with a small or large firm, or if they are in a major city. Look at the Find A Lawyer tab here at Avvo and then talk to some of them you like.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is email@example.com , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.