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    Default Cost of a lawyer to handle a will

    Hey folks,

    Very new to this so forgive my utter ignorance. My FIL passed away last week and we're looking for a lawyer to handle his will. My uncle in law and sister in law are the primary/secondary executors of the will.

    I don't know the full details but the lawyer they met with quoted them what sounds like $2500 flat rate, 1% of the some fixed portion of the estate, and then goes up to 1.5% for the remainder of the estate.

    They're planning to get a second opinion but I thought I'd post to see if something like this was commonplace as they thought the lawyer came off greedy.

    I don't foresee any contest or disputes of the will, so it's purely a matter of lawyer cost effectiveness as they believe it shouldn't cost that much for what is essentially paper pushing.

    Do lawyers typically do this kind of thing for a flat rate?

    Thanks in advance for any insight or suggestions.

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    That is usually the fee structure for estate lawyers in these kind of situations. It's usually a flat fee plus a percentage of the estate. Feel free to speak to a couple others but I don't imagine it would be significantly different.

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    wtf is the point of having a Will if lawyers just gonna follow it anyways and then take a huge fee.

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    How does one bypass having to give a lawyer a slice of the pie beyond the flat fee? On either side of it being my will or dealing with a parents perhaps.

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    When my FIL passed a few years ago, he did not have a will. My MIL used a family attorney and I'm 99.9% sure there was a flat fee (I'm also fairly certain it was <$1k).

    The estate was pretty straightforward, but still will-less... FWIW

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    What’s the point of having an executor if you are just going to pay a lawyer to do everything?
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    I have lots of family getting older. Following this thread with interest.
    I know my mom has her will and finances in order. We all went through that recently. The rest of the oldies, I'm less certain.
    Last edited by ExtraSlow; 08-02-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    What’s the point of having an executor if you are just going to pay a lawyer to do everything?
    Being an Executor is a massive responsibility and a lot of work. What many do is hire a bank like TD do so the work and then the share that the Executor was supposed to get goes to the bank for performing the service. 1-2% is "normal" and sometimes up to 5% but that's high. Often the will declares what the Executor is to get.
    Everyone thinks the cheques start rolling out to the heirs a month after.
    No.
    It takes a long long time.

    Lawyers aren't really required but they can perform the same task for WAY more money. After the estate is fully settled, it goes through something called "probate" and then everything is done. Expect a minimum of six months.
    I strongly recommend a bank over a lawyer.

    Complications OFTEN arise. I've been in an estate dispute for 45 months but it's essentially criminal what's happened in this one, so that's rare. In another instance, my friend had the Executor of his father's will die two days before probate. That tacked on a quick 9+ months to their debacle!

    Advice for anyone else is to CHOOSE THE EXECUTOR IN YOUR WILL EXTREMELY CAREFULLY! They have immense power and if they screw with the money, it's VERY difficult to hold them accountable. I'm talking years and 10's of thousands of $ to force them to do their job.

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    If the primary / secondary executors of the will are not capable of doing the work then i don't see any other way around it especially since shak confirmed that's these are pretty standard rates.

    good reminder for people writing their wills to choose someone who is competent to be the executor otherwise the estate will be subject to these types of fees to have a lawyer help them out.

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    Thanks fellas. I will pass it on to my sister in-law since she's the only one out of the three of them (herself, uncle in-law, and widowed mother-in law) who doesn't get what the fuss is all about.

    If the fee structure is typical, I imagine she'll just pay it and have it all taken care of unless the MIL really pushes for a second opinion.

    All of this stuff really makes me think about what I'll leave my kids when I pass and also the fact that my parents don't have wills either. My dad is super avoidant with this kind of shit.

    Could someone explain what is typically required to have assets transferred over? My understanding is that at this point they just need to make the will probate which will then give the executor the authority to finish paying off any remaining debts (including lawyer fees), some income tax stuff, and then divide remaining assets up to beneficiaries as per the will. So process-wise, it's just a matter of submitting the paperwork to probate the will?

    When my FIL passed away last week, they already spent several days calling to transfer accounts like Enmax over and called his banks to freeze the accounts.
    Last edited by rx7boi; 08-02-2019 at 11:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rx7boi View Post
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    Thanks fellas. I will pass it on to my sister in-law since she's the only one out of the three of them (herself, uncle in-law, and widowed mother-in law) who doesn't get what the fuss is all about.

    If the fee structure is typical, I imagine she'll just pay it and have it all taken care of unless the MIL really pushes for a second opinion.

    All of this stuff really makes me think about what I'll leave my kids when I pass and also the fact that my parents don't have wills either. My dad is super avoidant with this kind of shit.

    Could someone explain what is typically required to have assets transferred over? My understanding is that at this point they just need to make the will probate which will then give the executor the authority to finish paying off any remaining debts (including lawyer fees), some income tax stuff, and then divide remaining assets up to beneficiaries as per the will. So process-wise, it's just a matter of submitting the paperwork to probate the will?

    When my FIL passed away last week, they already spent several days calling to transfer accounts like Enmax over and called his banks to freeze the accounts.
    Use a bank. Being an Executor is too much work for anyone with a full time job.

    The only way to ensure that your wishes are granted and your will is carried out correctly is to give everyone everything while you're alive. Period!
    Once you're in the ground, all bets are off. Estranged family members show up during death sequences and steal with both hands. It's amazing. Plus, old people change their fucking minds (which only have to be sound enough to waddle to a lawyer's and hold a pen) on a whim and those decisions can wipe out millions.
    I'm fighting someone who "helped" create a new bogus will and then she got Power of Attorney and gifted herself hundreds of thousands before the death. Trust me, you don't want that to happen. It's as clear a case of Fraudulent Preference as one can be but the work we have to go through and the legal fees are fucking crippling. They can violate court orders to produce Estate Accounting documents (bank statements) for as long as they want and it's up to ME to chase them back into court. That means I have to spend money to enforce a decision the Crown made. How fucked is that?!

    Everyone - try this:
    Ask yourself why you would want to give your kids millions but not a dime UNTIL YOUR DEAD. What the fuck is the thought process, there?! That's the way the entire system is set up and it's potato. Why would you not trust your children to look after you with your money for the last decade you're alive? You obviously want them to benefit, so why not be alive to partially see it? Put the fucking house in your kids' name before you get Anna Nicole Smith'd. That fuck toy your widowed dad plugs in his 70's can take the house that was supposed to be yours and inherit his pension. The court doesn't care that he spent 60 years building wealth with your mom (now deceased) and raising you and your siblings. She will take a swing at getting it when he dies and you can kiss 2 years and $50k away to fight it, and, you probably won't win.

    Death is serious business and people need to become more proactive.
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 08-02-2019 at 12:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rx7boi View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    All of this stuff really makes me think about what I'll leave my kids when I pass and also the fact that my parents don't have wills either. My dad is super avoidant with this kind of shit.
    Just tell him the lion's share of his life's estate worth will end up going to the Government if he doesn't plan properly and that should be enough to figure it out. Unless he loves taxation.
    Originally posted by SJW
    Once again another useless post by JRSCOOLDUDE.
    Originally posted by snowcat
    Don't let the e-thugs and faggots get to you when they quote your posts and write stupid shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePenIsMightier View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Everyone - try this:
    Ask yourself why you would want to give your kids millions but not a dime UNTIL YOUR DEAD. What the fuck is the thought process, there?! That's the way the entire system is set up and it's potato. Why would you not trust your children to look after you with your money for the last decade you're alive? You obviously want them to benefit, so why not be alive to partially see it? Put the fucking house in your kids' name before you get Anna Nicole Smith'd. That fuck toy your widowed dad plugs in his 70's can take the house that was supposed to be yours and inherit his pension. The court doesn't care that he spent 60 years building wealth with your mom (now deceased) and raising you and your siblings. She will take a swing at getting it when he dies and you can kiss 2 years and $50k away to fight it, and, you probably won't win.

    Death is serious business and people need to become more proactive.
    Man, I feel that way about this current situation. My FIL basically married some 30 year old China mail order bride about 7 years ago. He's leaving her the house, his 30+ year pension, the cars, and 70% of his financial assets. Each of the 3 kids get 10% of the cash assets each.

    No one has openly expressed their saltiness (or if they even are, I wouldn't know) but I've seen this happen over and over. People do stupid shit for pussy and now this farmer girl from China has a net worth that's higher than all 3 of the siblings and their spouses combined.

    But I digress, it's not something I would ever want to get tangled up with since it's none of my business. It just makes me bit angry because I envision myself setting up my kids up before giving the overwhelming majority of my net worth away to some mail order bride I knew I would never grow old with when I married her.

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    Just an update for anyone wondering:

    While the stepmother wanted to get a second opinion and go with someone else, she did find a lawyer who was willing to negotiate a flat fee. Nevertheless, sister in-law is the executor so she ended up signing an agreement with the first lawyer they had all met with.

    I think the fee ends up being $2500 flat, 0.5% of the first 200k of the estate including house, and then 1% on the remainder.

    Assuming everything stays clean and goes without issues, they're hoping to have everything done by January.

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    I can’t answer Op’s question directly.
    But some of this might help part of it.

    If the Will is straightforward. Then you don’t need a estate lawyer. You just need a Will that is well written and is updated regularly. Make sure original certified copies of the Will are at hand. I cant stress that enough.

    The Will is just instructions to what happens after a person dies.
    The executor is the person carrying out the instructions of the Will. Yes you can use a bank.

    As posted above, for the love of fucking god. Please choose the executor carefully. Ive dealt with executors that live in different cities/towns. When it comes to sorting stuff out, it takes ages. Also at that point in life, the executor might be too old or just dam fucking lazy/dumb to do anything. In one scenario they might as well have been dead themselves as they were so far off from reality.

    I think ive posted this before, but I’l post again to give some perspective.
    So when I worked at the bank, we dealt with Estates all the bloody time.

    The process falls into two areas.
    A: The immediate need. This is funeral costs, bills having to be paid and things being transferred over.
    B: The long process of having the Will verified and executors/ beneficiaries getting their shit together, making themselves available and paperwork being all correct. This can impact A.

    Scenario:
    Person comes in husband/wife has died. Accounts are frozen. The first thing the bank does is IT PROTECTS ITSELF. Remember that.

    The banker checks signature cards. If they had a joint account with their spouse, we check if survivorship tick box was checked. This means the chequing and savings account automatically goes to the surviving spouse. You would not believe how many times this is ignored and the look of the shocked face of the survivor. That is not the responsibility of the bank. Its not a big issue, but a inconvenience. Think of electric bills, cell phone bills etc. OPP security deposits etc Access to cash. This impacts A.

    When you opened your bank account at the bank. You did your signature cards. If the account is joint, make sure this box was ticked. Or you can go in and just redo them.
    Old accounts automatically were assumed survivorship as most women were homemakers. In todays society, that is not assumed. Think of equality laws, women making money and issues of divorce. People have a lot more debit too. So its not always assumed.

    Surviving spouses usually will have joint accounts/investments transferred over. Now this does not apply to all.
    The Bank will want a original copy of the Will and they will verify it by contacting the lawyer. Again I cant stress this enough. They will determine if the process goes to probate. In most cases it will not due to the amount. I can’t remember the amount, someone else can chime in on that.

    The banker at the front is just a admin person, they just collect the info and forward it to the Estates department. Who in turn will take their sweet motherfucking time interpreting the Will and giving instructions to the front person to follow.

    Downside. This can range from 1 month to a year. More documents may be asked for. Its the job of the Executor to have the shit together and correct paperwork.
    During this time the survivor/family are emotionally compromised. Executor if named is too lazy or dumb.
    Funeral costs and bills still need to be paid. Some surviving spouses cant do this as partners did everything.
    Cockroachings and money hungry relatives come out of the woodwork wanting a slice of the pie. Even the person helping with the account. The shit people will say and do is insane. This is why a original certified copy of the Will is everything. Money makes people do and say strange shit. Ive seen it.

    The Bank will trying to lick the butthole of the beneficiaries and tell them it tastes like pan au chocolaaa. That’s because they don’t want the assets/wealth leaving the bank. Think ‘investment opportunity’. You just inherited 200k. Hey invest it.

    Its not all doom and gloom. If I honest, in most cases it is straightforward. It just takes time that’s all. When you are emotionally compromised (and you will be), that’s not a good thing.

    The headaches also comes from:
    1. People not updating their Will with names etc. For example people may have died, moved away, conflict etc.
    2. I’l be dead I don’t care mentality
    3. Shitty Executors
    4. People change over time. Your best bumchum friend today can tomorrow can be a lazy ass.
    5. People not accepting their partner or themselves will die at some point. All of us will die. That’s guaranteed. This causes problems in the handover process.

    If wealth is left to the estate. The beneficiaries pay tax on that (unless its a spouse).
    You can get around this by having a life insurance policy (disclaimer I am a life agent..well soon to be laid off life agent).
    Life insurance bypasses the entire estate process and is tax free. The amount can vary, example. It can cover final costs, or expenses till the Will is sorted out. Nobody can touch this money.
    This can help with A. Hence some peope get a small lie policy to cover final costs and expenses for a few months. Another reason is the spouse (women) will out live the husband and retirement funds. So a life policy is a cheap way to get money for the wife after the husband dies. But thats a whole other topic I wont go into.

    Im not selling the concept of life insurance. People get hung up on it being a shit investment. I would not regard it as a investment.
    Think of it like a tool.

    Ive worked both sides and having to deal with death and sorting funerals out for my extended family. Ive realized it a interesting simple wealth transfer tool. Think about that for a moment. I just wish I knew this earlier so I could have told my parents.

    How it is used in terms of cost/payout is up to the person. If you do have a life policy, make sure you have contingent beneficiaries. You can add this and its free. So if you and your husband/wife die in car crash as a example. The insurance payout will go to the estate, beneficiaries pay tax on the estate.
    If there is a contingent, it goes to them tax free.

    If your going inherit a large capital gains tax on a estate. Get a life policy on the parents/person.
    I shit you not. There are some clever ways to help that. For example, if your having to pay tax on a expected inheritance. A life policy may be cheaper.

    It is just one tool of many that can be used when a person dies. A clear written Will is another. That’s is all. You don't always need a lawyer. For complicated estates yes.

    When you think about what you want done in terms of setting up the Will/Life insurance. Both are really good tools that can solve problems A and B.
    But Just remember.
    1. The bank is not your friend. Its priority is to protected itself in the event a client dies. Make a appointment and speak with a senior advisor that works in older neighbourhood. It a great resource to understand the process ahead of time.

    2. Make sure you know how the life policy is set up. Have it reviewed regularly as your variance changes over the years. i.e some people paying or will pay too much. Or some people don’t have basic shit covered. The amount of dumb shit I am seeing by ignorant and arrogant clients is insane.

    3. Do not go by hearsay. Talk to qualified people at the Bank, Life Agent, Lawyer and funeral home.

    Edit: Forgot to add.
    A living Will is just as important if not more crucial. It allows a named person to make decisions on another behalf.
    A few times a person has not died but is not capable of making decisions. This is massive when it comes to finances as banks wont budge when it comes to a persons account or investments. Ive had this several times.
    Last edited by tonytiger55; 08-06-2019 at 10:39 PM.

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