Most people know that they should get an estate plan, or at least that they should have a Will. The question they always ask is “How much will getting an estate plan cost me?” That is the wrong question, but it can be answered. It depends on how many assets you have and what you want to happen to them after you pass away. More complicated estate plans take longer to develop and cost more.
However, the question you should be asking is “How much will not getting an estate plan cost my heirs?” That is a more complicated question and ultimately unknowable. At a minimum, your heirs will need to go through Probate to receive their inheritances, which usually costs them time and money. If you have a large estate, then your heirs will need to pay estate taxes from it. If your heirs do not all get along, then they might decide to fight over your estate in court. That will cost them even more money.
By asking the right question, you should see that it is ultimately more expensive to not get an estate plan than it is to get one. The costs associated with it today are well worth avoiding the future costs of not doing so.
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Ryan M. DenmanandDennis D. Duffy
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