Billing and fees: Clients initially meet with one of our attorneys to discuss their family law or domestic case, their estate planning needs, or their estate administration matter by scheduling a one hour initial office conference at a flat fee of $150.00. Standard settlements for the sale, purchase or refinancing of real estate have fees set by the title insurance companies (purchases and refinances) or by our office (sales) that are paid at the time of settlement along with all standard settlement fees. Other more involved real estate matters, such as processing subdivision plans and similar situations require the initial office consultation and may require a separate retainer, depending upon the circumstances.
Family law or domestic law cases require the payment of a retainer against which services are billed at an hourly rate. Standard retainers and billing rates are available from the office manager, although a client’s retainer may be based on the attorney’s determination of the complexity of the case and the need for limited or extensive services. Retainer fees must be provided before services will be rendered. Any questions regarding fees for a case may be discussed with the attorney or the office manager at your initial office consultation or any time thereafter. Once retainers are nearly exhausted, additional retainers may be requested, based upon the status of the case, in order to continue representation.
In estate planning cases, where relatively standard documents can be prepared without extensive additional appointments, we attempt to charge flat fees for those documents. Those fees are discussed at the initial office conference. However, each client’s situation is different and fees will be specifically discussed at the end of the initial office consultation and will be based upon the services the client requests to be performed. In situations where circumstances dictate multiple appointments and the preparation of various drafts of documents, or where extensive interaction with nursing home personnel, Department of Human Services workers, financial advisors, and others will be involved, a retainer may be required for services to be rendered.
When a loved one passes and it is necessary to probate or administer an estate, fees are discussed at the initial office conference. Fees may be based upon a percentage of the gross value of the estate, with a minimum fee, or may be based on an hourly rate, with the client choosing the manner of determining the fees.
ALL fees, except fees paid at the time of real estate settlements and fee arrangements made in estate matters, are billed monthly, reflecting all status of payments or retainers on the account. Payments for fees are accepted in cash, and by personal check, bank card, VISA, MasterCard and Discover credit cards.