It’s difficult to give an average cost of a will in Texas. Each law firm structures their fees differently and changes the amounts from time to time. Some attorneys offer a flat fee rate for a will, while others bill by the hour.
How much a will costs in Texas depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- The drafting attorney’s experience;
- The complexity of the assets and overall estate plan;
- The time it takes for the attorney to draft the will; and
- Any other services the law firm includes as part of creating a will.
Let’s take a deeper look into each one of these variables and how they impact the cost of a will in Texas.
What Are the Requirements of a Will in Texas?
Before we go any further, it’s important for you to understand the requirements of a valid will in Texas. Creating a legally enforceable will is not as simple as writing down your wishes.
In fact, Texas law requires that the testator (the person creating the will) be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. In addition to that, all wills must be:
- Signed by the testator; and
- Attested and signed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least 14 years of age.
If any of these requirements aren’t met, the will is invalid and unenforceable. This is why it’s important to have an experienced estate planning attorney draft your will so that it actually holds up when the time comes to enforce it.
What Impacts How Much a Will Costs in Texas?
When you hire a seasoned estate planning attorney, he or she will likely charge much more than a first-year associate. The more experienced lawyer can offer a higher level of analysis and draft a more robust will.
To keep prices low, some law firms permit legal assistants or paralegals to draft a will and then an attorney will review it. It’s important to know exactly who is writing your will for you, so you know what level of legal expertise you’re paying for.
Complexity of the Estate
If you have complex assets, like investments or business interests, it’s likely you’ll pay more for a will. The goals for your estate and your requests within your will may be much more in depth and require sophisticated drafting.
For someone who has more common assets, like cars, real estate, and brokerage accounts, a simple will may suffice. It’s not uncommon for lawyers to charge a flat rate for a simple will.
For lawyers who bill by the hour, the amount of time they spend creating your will clearly affects how much you’ll pay in the end. Again, if your estate is large and complicated, you’re going to spend a lot more for your will than someone who is leaving everything to his or her spouse.
Additional Services Offered
Some attorneys will draft your will and send you with execution instructions, expecting that you’ll complete the tasks needed to finalize the will. For example, you may need to get your will witnessed or notarized. Other law firms have an official will ceremony, where your will is signed, witnessed, and legally executed. Depending on what the lawyer or law firm offers, the cost of your will can vary.
Why Is It Important to Have a Will?
If you die without a will, it is said that you have died “intestate.” What this means is state law determines who will inherit your estate and how much they will receive. This can have unintended consequences and cause serious conflict among family members. To avoid this, have a Texas estate planning attorney create your will.
Can I Use an Online Will Template?
You can find a plethora of online forms, templates, and will-drafting services. Granted, these can be cost effective and save you time right now. However, the cons far outweigh the pros when it comes to do-it-yourself wills.
In the long run, an online will can be more costly. Often these template wills are full of ambiguities and mistakes, which can be time consuming and expensive for your loved ones when the time comes to administer your estate. Your do-it-yourself will may also fail to meet Texas’s requirements for a valid will.
When you work with an estate planning attorney, they not only ensure your will satisfies the legal requirements, but they will also tailor it to meet your needs.
Hire an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney to Draft Your Will
As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. While there are cheap and quick ways to create your own will, there’s no substitute for the service and expertise you’ll receive from the Law Offices of Kyle Robbins, PLLC. Founder and lead attorney Kyle Robbins will provide you with a custom will that meets your goals and gives you peace of mind.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.