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What is the cost of a Will in Queensland?

The cost of a last Will and Testament (and other testamentary documents) at Swanwick Murray Roche can vary depending on how you wish to make your will:

Type of DocumentCost
Simple Last Will and Testament with a solicitor or lawyer (discounts for husband & wife wills)$500 – $800
Testamentary Trust WillsFrom $2500
Advance Health Directives$100 to $500
Enduring Power of Attorney$100 to $500
Complex Wills (involving company’s, trusts, self managed super funds)From $1000
Company power of attorneyFrom $300
Estate planning work (including strategy, meetings, consulting, drafting documents)Hourly rate

 

What about free Wills or cheap Wills?

People regularly ask our opinion on free Wills, cheap Wills, do it yourself will kits.

Free Wills:

  • the old saying goes that you pay for what you get. If it’s free, you have to ask – why?
  • organisations and government entities across Australia proudly exclaim that they offer “free wills for the public”. We often have people come to our office later to complain about the unexpected result – like that entity now being the executor of the estate and charging huge fees, taking a long time to do the work. Other complaints include – the Will didn’t properly deal with the situation – like a capacity check, advice about what to do with split families or asset strategies to maximise your estate for children.
  • another common complaint is that the person taking instructions and drafting Wills either wasn’t a lawyer or was a very junior lawyer (with the result being that technical and legal errors were made in the drafting of the document). We have seen instances where mistakes in “free wills”, that could have been prevented with a more experienced lawyer, have cost the estate thousands of dollars to fix.

Cheap Wills:

  • in some ways, a cheap will is worse than a free Will (because it perhaps gives the impression that the job will be completed properly).
  • a lawyer makes money from the time they spend on files. Theoretically, good lawyers are very busy and should charge an industry standard hourly rate. Therefore, if a lawyer is offering “cheap Wills” – you should ask “why?”.
  • an efficient lawyer can properly take complete instructions, carry out a legal capacity test for most regular wills in a timeframe of between 40 minutes to 1 hour (sometimes more or less depending on the circumstances). A paralegal should assist to draft the documents (to reduce costs) but the lawyer should check the documents. Allow maybe a further 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the circumstances). The lawyer will usually sign the documents with you and explain any last questions (allow about 20-40 minutes). The average Will should take the lawyer (at least) between 1.5 hours to 2 hours to properly complete the job.

Do it yourself will kits

  • don’t do it
  • there are many court cases (that cost thousands of dollars) where parties have argued over what the words in a will actually mean. Lawyers and solicitors study and train for years so that they can prepare proper testamentary documents for you. Let us help you.

What is the total cost of Making Last Will and Testament?

The exact cost of a will may be influenced by:

  • Whether or not you have a blended family;
  • If you’ve remarried, separated or divorced;
  • If you want to make specific gifts in a certain way;
  • If you want to leave someone out of your will who would normally be included in your inheritance;
  • Company or family trusts;
  • Gifts or loans you’ve given before you die; or
  • Leaving something to someone that would usually go to the other owner upon your death, for, eg if you own property as ‘joint tenants’.

How much does a Last Will and Testament cost in Australia?

The laws that govern wills and estates are complex and different in each state of Australia. This means that it may be more expensive or less expensive depending on where you live. The total cost of a will can be influenced by many other factors discussed above and depends on whether you do it yourself with a will kit or use a solicitor.

What is the cost of making a Last Will and Testament with a solicitor or lawyer in Australia?

Lawyers or solicitors charge between $300 to $500 per hour for wills, and it depends on the complexity of your estate as to how much the total cost is with a solicitor. When you make a will with a solicitor, you aren’t necessarily paying for the time to draft the will but for their experience and understanding of the law and how it affects your circumstances. Depending on the cost of your will, a solicitor may ask you to pay into their trust account to cover their fees.

What is the cost of preparing a Last Will and Testament?

The cost of a will can be reduced if you invest your time into understanding your situation. You could do the following:

  • Put together a list of assets and liabilities;
  • Decide on who you want to give your assets too;
  • Learn about the different ways you can gift your assets;
  • Choose who you want to be in charge of your estate after you die (executor)

Additionally if using a lawyer, you may want to provide all this information to them before meeting them to save time at the meeting.

What is the cost for a lawyer to prepare a Last Will and Testament?

Some people may need assistance when it comes to preparing to make a will. A lawyer can help prepare for your will making by getting together your assets and liabilities or giving you advice on how to structure your estate.

Lawyers charge differently from each other, and some lawyers provide fixed fees and others charge hourly. Almost all wills are prepared on a fixed fee basis. However, if you have many complicated structures or investments, a lawyer may prefer to charge an hourly rate.

When using a lawyer, you should ask for your cost to prepare your  Last Will and Testament upfront either a fixed fee or hourly and ask them to explain to you what the cost covers.

What is the going rate for lawyers or solicitors fees for a Last Will and Testament?

Lawyers or solicitor’s fees for wills can be anywhere from several hundred to thousands of dollars. Two lawyers can give very different estimates of their fees depending on their experience and skill. In this case most of the time you will get what you pay for. Understanding how your lawyer charges and what you are paying for is fundamental. Sometimes there are additional costs, such as title searches which may not be made clear to you.

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