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Why Flat Fees are Better for Estate Planning

Attorney Robert Franco

Robert Franco

Robert Franco has been practicing law for over a decade. He specializes in wills and trusts, as well as probate and estate administration. Robert grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Woodinville with his wife and three kids.

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Why Flat Fees are Better for Estate Planning

Estate planning is a critical process that involves the creation of legal documents to ensure the smooth transfer of assets and properties to beneficiaries after death. A well-crafted estate plan helps to minimize disputes among family members and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. If you’re considering hiring an estate planning attorney, one important decision you’ll have to make is whether to pay a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services.

In this blog, we’ll explore why flat fees for estate planning are better than hourly fees. 

  • Predictable Costs

One of the most significant advantages of a flat fee is that it provides clients with predictable costs. Unlike hourly fees, which can quickly add up, flat fees allow clients to know exactly how much they’ll be paying from the outset. This transparency allows clients to budget accordingly and avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.

  • No Incentive to Extend Time

Attorneys who charge hourly fees may have the incentive to extend the amount of time spent on a project to increase their billable hours. This can lead to unnecessary work and higher costs for the client. Flat fees eliminate this incentive, as attorneys are paid a set fee regardless of the time spent on the project. This encourages attorneys to work efficiently and effectively to complete the project as quickly as possible.

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  • Encourages Collaboration

Hourly fees can discourage collaboration between clients and their attorneys. Clients may be hesitant to ask questions or seek advice for fear of incurring additional charges. With flat fees, clients are more likely to seek advice and collaborate with their attorneys throughout the process. This leads to better communication, greater understanding, and ultimately, a better estate plan.

  • Encourages Comprehensive Planning

Hourly fees may also discourage clients from pursuing comprehensive estate planning. If clients are charged by the hour, they may be tempted to limit the scope of their estate plan to save money. This can lead to incomplete or inadequate estate plans that fail to fully protect their assets and interests. Flat fees encourage clients to pursue comprehensive planning, as they’re paying for a complete estate plan, not just the attorney’s time.

  • Provides Value-Based Service

Flat fees allow attorneys to provide value-based service. Attorneys who charge hourly fees may be incentivized to drag out the estate planning process to increase their billable hours. Flat fees incentivize attorneys to provide high-quality service that meets the needs of their clients efficiently and effectively. This creates a win-win situation for both the client and the attorney.


In conclusion, while hourly fees may be appropriate for certain legal services, flat fees are generally better for estate planning. Flat fees provide clients with predictable costs and encourage collaboration, and comprehensive planning while providing value-based service to clients. If you’re considering estate planning, it’s important to discuss fee structures with your attorney to determine which option is best for you. Interested in learning more about our services?

Visit our website for more information, or schedule a free consultation with Robert to receive a personalized quote.

Service Areas:

Eastside Estate Planning is dedicated to providing estate planning, last will, and trusts services to individuals and families in the following areas:

Bellevue | Redmond | Monroe | Duvall

If you reside in any of these locations and are in need of professional estate planning assistance, we are here to help. Robert is committed to delivering personalized and top-quality estate planning solutions to clients within these cities. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs and secure the future of your assets and loved ones.

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