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Lawyers prices
Is this reasonable?

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27 replies to this topic

#1 Ally'smum

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

We need to see a lawyer to do our wills and ask some family law questions, we have been told that each will is $500 (incl.gst) and the charge out rate for the questions is $260 per hour for the family law questions.

Does this seem reasonable?

The charge out for the per hour work seems alright to me (I work in a similar area so was expecting this amount)but $500 each for wills? That seems like a lot and they would need to be updated when/if another child comes along.

#2 qak

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

We paid $1,300 for our Wills, POA & guardian agreements a couple of years ago.   You can get the wills worded to refer to your children (and future children) collectively and divide into as many parts as there are kids to save having to update for every child.

#3 Fossy

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

Have you shopped around?  I have no idea what's reasonable.  Both our wills and POA cost $720, and as PP said it's worded to include future children so no amending necessary unless we decide to make specific changes.

#4 NannyPlum

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

Seems cheap to me! I am a legal PA and we do wills (no family law but superannuation) and my boss charges $500 plus just to see you.

To get advice and work done with my office you would be looking at closer to $2,000! I just about died when I did my first account there lol.

Definitely get the wording so it includes subsequent children.

#5 lozoodle

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

After working in a first tier firm and seeing the charge out rates of our staff, that seems dirt cheap and very reasonable original.gif

You wouldnt even get a paralegal for that at my work.

#6 Ally'smum

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for the responses.

I have certainly chosen the wrong career!

I thought wills would be pretty standard (but I guess not) so was expecting that to be cheaper.

#7 PrincessPeach

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

$260 per hour for a lawyer sounds quite reasonable actually.

To be honest, I'm a senior accountant & I charge out at the same rate.

#8 AllyK81

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

I am a lawyer. That is very cheap.

My charge out rate is $500+ per hour and there's no way a will could be drafted (including taking instructions) and prepared in one hour.

Properly drafted, it should not need to be amended for subsequent children (not that this is my practice area!).

#9 Natttmumm

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

The prices are cheap. I would go with that

#10 choleg908

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

QUOTE (Natttmumm @ 15/01/2013, 02:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The prices are cheap. I would go with that

Wow.. this blows me away. I am a lawyer and have set up my own practice working from home to fit in around my son (2.5yrs). I do wills and do not charge anything like this!! I must be too cheap! But in all honesty find you cannot charge much for wills as people don't want to pay much. It is also hard when Public Trustee does them for free if you are happy to appoint them executor (and they take a fee something like 2.5%) or red cross has solicitors willing to do them as cheap as $50

I do mine as $330 for a couple if straightforward - all to each other then to children etc. If anything like trusts or split or blended families, then charge hourly rate of $250 but usually cap it.

my advice would be to shop around. It is a very competitive market.

#11 Molondy

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:12 PM

Yeah my wills are obviously pretty cheap! For straight forward wills I think we charge $300.00 for 2 and $500.00 for wills and powers of attorney.

The charge out rate is very reasonable. I am a partner in a regional area and my charge out rate is $400.00ph.

#12 emnut

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

the hourly rate very reasonable.  For straight forward wills (ie no trusts etc) you could get significantly cheaper

Edited by emnut, 15 January 2013 - 02:19 PM.

#13 vanessa71

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE (choleg908 @ 15/01/2013, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow.. this blows me away. I am a lawyer and have set up my own practice working from home to fit in around my son (2.5yrs). I do wills and do not charge anything like this!! I must be too cheap!

Yes, but as you are working from home, you probably have less overheads than a firm does.

OP, the price sounded reasonable to me.

#14 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

The family law rate is very cheap - make sure they have lawyers that specialise in the area.

The cost for the wills is on the high side but not obscene.  Firms in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne charge around $375 for a simple will.

#15 MrsLexiK

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

QUOTE (choleg908 @ 15/01/2013, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow.. this blows me away. I am a lawyer and have set up my own practice working from home to fit in around my son (2.5yrs). I do wills and do not charge anything like this!! I must be too cheap! But in all honesty find you cannot charge much for wills as people don't want to pay much. It is also hard when Public Trustee does them for free if you are happy to appoint them executor (and they take a fee something like 2.5%) or red cross has solicitors willing to do them as cheap as $50

I do mine as $330 for a couple if straightforward - all to each other then to children etc. If anything like trusts or split or blended families, then charge hourly rate of $250 but usually cap it.

my advice would be to shop around. It is a very competitive market.

I think we were charged about that price for both combined.  This was a surban practise - perhaps they sent the "labour" bill to my parents lol!

#16 cuddlebud

Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

Dh (family lawyer) says about $550 for a couple's will, uncomplicated- in a suburban firm, and any other issues a charge out of $330 per hr.

#17 Ragdoll*Lover

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

I work for a smallish law firm....we charge $330 for straightforward wills for couples.  I think hourly rate is about $400-$450/hour but not sure.

#18 Copacetic

Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

The hourly rate is VERY reasonable.

The prices for the wills, on the other hand are steep.  Especially if there's nothing untoward about them.  I mean lawyers here, let's not kid ourselves - the will will be barely looked at by a solicitor.  And if its a firm that does wills (frankly, even it its not) as a rule, then you can bet that there will be a precedent will and a precedent letter where the only thing happening is a secretary is filling in names.

I think we'd all agree that $500 is a lot for that.

#19 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

$500 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A local solicitor has just done one for me for $160.

I would be shopping around.

#20 Copacetic

Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:24 PM

OP consider that for their time, they are charging you 260/hr. a will would probably take any decent law firm less than 1/2 an hour to churn out.   So yes. $500, is way overpriced. If it was a complicated will, then yes. Hourly rate all the way.

#21 adl

Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

Actually the lawyer does take the instructions and must check they have all the facts about the person and their circumstances .. It's about an hour plus once you consider initial  Meeting then getting you back to read and execute, let only draft....and most lawyers doing this would be $300 plus an hour on average.. Wills are not profit makers...but can be about other matters later on, etc, making the contact building the relationship

And most people don't have straight wills if there have been previous relationships and children from different partners...  Mixed property ownership with others etc.

The term you need to use is issue, not name current children so if you have more they are included as a lawyer knows ... wills generally must be updated on major life events such as divorce, death
in my previous practice we use to charge $200 plus Gst for standard will,  and there was a package for POA and EG if needed...

That charge out rate for a family lawyer seems very  low and is probably for a junior...I would check who you are seeing and ask how many years post qualification...for family law, depending on what it is I would like to see at least 3 years in family law

Edited for atrocious typos

Edited by adl, 16 January 2013 - 06:41 PM.

#22 pinkelephant

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:14 PM

Will prices are outrageous- most firms just use precedents that they copy and paste each clause and can do a basic will in 20 mins.

My office charges $150 for a will and family law rate is $350 per hour.

#23 Greatmum

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

DH and I got wills, enduring POA and enduring guardianship done for $1000.  This is in western sydney.

#24 Copacetic

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

Last place I worked, that did probably 30 wills a week, the process was this:

Secretary takes call with query about will (5 min);
Secretary churns out precedent letter enclosing instruction questionnaire and sends it (5 min);
Client sends questionnaire back;
Secretary receives it, adds in information to precedent; churns out another  precedent letter to the client (maybe 10 min);
Solicitor runs an eye over it (5 min)
Secretary sends the letter to the client.

It takes next to no time, and most wills are very straight forward. For standard wills as above the client may not ever even speak to the solicitor.

#25 Rachiee

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

Just showed hubby (works in the field) and said both prices are reasonable.

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