Generally, you should expect to pay $150-300/hour, but rates can be higher (to $500 plus) for very experienced lawyers and complex matters. Most estate planning attorneys will quote a flat fee for planning projects after the first meeting, and you should inquire about that possibility when setting up an appointment. The overall cost will vary significantly depending on the complexity of your personal circumstances, but if you have less than $1 million and don't own complicated assets (lots of rental property, foreign accounts, etc) you would probably be well-advised to seek out a younger lawyer (3-5 years of experience) who practices in estate planning on a regular basis as the overall cost will likely be lower. Good luck.
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DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT INTENDED, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSTRUED, AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS POSTING DOES NOT CREATE ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US. FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION, CONSULT A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY.
I agree with the above answer. Geographic differences also affect the rates that are charged in any jurisdiction. In Arizona, you are probably looking at 200-400/500. My experience with locations like Southern California or New York is that it can be 300-800 or more per hour.
I am an Arizona estate planning lawyer and everything I do with respect to creating and estate plan and related documents for a client is on a fixed fee basis, not by the hour. Most of the Arizona estate planning attorneys I know also use fixed fees rather than hourly rates.
For more information about what is included in an estate plan and the fees I charge, see my article called "Richard Keyt's Arizona Estate Plan Preparation Service - An Explanation of What is Included in an Estate Plan and the Costs" found here:
My response to your question(s) is not legal advice for your specific situation. My response discusses general legal concepts. The fact I responded to your question(s) does not create an attorney client relationship between you and me. Because I am licensed to practice law only in Arizona, my statements are general statements about Arizona law rather than the law of any other state. The facts of your situation and the applicable federal and state law must be considered before taking action. I recommend that you contact an experienced attorney who is licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction that will govern your specific transaction and who has experience with the specific areas of law applicable to your situation.
Many probate and estate administration matters are billed at fixed fees, rather than the traditional hourly rate method. For example, many estate lawyers in Tucson, including myself, will charge a fixed fee of several thousand dollars for a simple, informal probate.