Utilize estate planning professionals. To draft these basic estate plans, experts recommend carefully selecting a team of professionals who will educate you and draft what you need based on your individual situation. "Don't feel like you have to jump at the first person whose name is given to you," Kirchick says. "I think that people should interview two or more attorneys, accountants, trust officers, financial advisors and so on."
According to financial planning experts, the average initial cost for the legal drafting of a will, living will and durable power of attorney documentation is between $500 and $1,200, depending on the family size and location.
To keep planning costs even lower, Porter-Medley suggests visiting a certified financial advisor before going to an attorney to become more educated about the overall process. "A financial planner can prepare individuals as much as possible before they go to an attorney so when that individual walks into their attorney's office, they have a good understanding of the situation and can efficiently use the time they are paying for."
Low-income individuals who want to start estate planning can review their state's legal aid societies and bar services to see if legal consultations are available for little or no cost.
Continue to review your plan over time. Finally, your estate plan should never be a "one and done thing," according to Henn. "Every five to seven years, the documents should be readdressed to adapt to significant life events, tax law changes or even the addition of more children," he says. It is also important to keep tabs on your insurance policies and investments, as they all tie into the estate plan and can fluctuate based on the economic environment. If you have to make revisions, Henn says it will cost as much as it did to create the documents in the first place.