Colorado Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Why I charge on a flat-fee basIs for estate planning

There are several ways that attorneys bill clients, two of the most common are hourly and flat-fee. Hourly billing means that you are billed for each segment of an hour your attorney or their staff work on your file including anything from phone calls to e-mails to meetings. This billing is typically done in tenth of an hour increments, often with a minimum of .2 or .25 (meaning you are billed for 12 or 15 minutes even if your attorney only spoke to you for 3 minutes on the phone). Hourly billing is common in many areas of law, especially in areas where it is impossible to determine the amount of time that will need to be spent on the matter at hand. Another common method by which firms bill is on a flat-fee basis. The flat fee is detailed in a fee agreement explaining exactly what is and what is not included in the fee. I generally choose to bill my estate planning clients on a flat-fee basis. A list of set prices is provided to potential clients outlining different options available in creating an estate plan and when a client hires me, they know up front how much their plan is going to cost. I view estate planning differently from many other attorneys, in that rather than viewing your estate plan as a single transaction, I focus on creating relationships with my clients and their families and hope to be in contact with them for years to come. By billing for estate planning on a flat-fee basis I believe it gives clients more comfort in reaching out to me and my staff to ask questions and attain a better understanding of the plan I help put in place and to reassure them that each contact isn’t going to result in a bill.

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Sommers Law Group, LLC assists clients throughout Denver, Jefferson County, and Arapahoe County, Colorado.

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