The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” is true in most areas including legal services. Good legal services are not cheap, it’s that simple. And cheap legal services are too expensive and risky in the long run. Attorneys with experience charge higher fees because their experience is of great benefit to their clients. An attorney with little to no experience can make costly mistakes—mistakes that may not be able to be corrected and that could eventually cost the client much more than the fee to hire an experienced attorney in the first place.
Do you want to buy someone else’s problem?
Think of hiring an attorney like buying a car. You can buy a used car for much less than you would pay for a new car; however, you are likely buying someone else’s problem when you buy a used car. The previous owner wanted to get rid of that car for a reason. Similarly, cheap legal services are inexpensive for a reason as well.
Your used car may cost thousands of dollars less than a new model; however, you may have to spend thousands of dollars replacing the transmission a few months later. Even if you do not have an expensive repair, the maintenance cost on an older vehicle is typically more than on a newer model. In the long run, your “deal” may turn out to be a costly mistake.
The same is true when you are paying for legal services. You may find attorneys who charge less for their services; however, you may realize too late why those services were less expensive. For example, if you go to an estate planning attorney who charges half of what most attorneys charge, you may believe you are getting a great deal. You have him or her draft a will and maybe one or two other documents, and you are on your merry way.
However, not long after, your spouse suddenly dies. You take the will to the probate court only to discover it was not properly executed and it is not valid. Now you must proceed as though your spouse died without a will. If you have minor children, the process will quickly become complicated as you realize your minor children inherit a portion of all of your spouse’s assets. You cannot sell your home without going through a costly and long process of requesting court approval to sell the minor’s interest. If you have step-children or your spouse’s family wants to contest the distribution of assets, your simple estate plan just became costly and messy. You could have avoided this entire situation by paying a little more for an experienced estate planning attorney from the beginning.
Experience vs. Saving a Few Dollars
Why should you pay more for the experience and knowledge that the estate planning attorneys of Lovett & House Co., LPA provide? That can be answered by looking around you right now at all the people and things you hold near and dear to your heart: your spouse, your children, your partner, your pets, your friends, charities—the list goes on and on. Estate planning is making sure your loved ones are provided for in the event of your death or incapacitation. It is making sure that your final wishes are carried out rather than allowing Ohio’s legislators and Ohio’s judges to make some of the most important life decisions for you.
When you are dealing with something this important, you want an attorney with experience guiding you through the process. You need an attorney who understands Ohio probate laws to ensure every document is drafted and executed so it can withstand any challenge. The last thing you want is for your loved ones to face a lengthy, costly court battle over your estate. One small mistake in your estate documents could cost your family thousands of dollars and prevent them from receiving the funds and assets they need because your estate is tied up in probate. This risk is not worth saving a few dollars now.
You must also consider whether you really are saving a few bucks by hiring a less experienced estate planning attorney. The estate planning attorneys of Lovett & House Co., LPA have been helping clients with their estate planning needs for many years. Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of the law; therefore, they can quickly determine what you need to accomplish your goals.
A novice estate planning attorney is not as well-versed in probate law, tax law, and financial planning. In order to meet your needs, a less experienced attorney will take longer to research and prepare your estate planning documents, and even then, the attorney may not be able to arrive at the same conclusion as our attorneys. Therefore, where our attorneys may bill you for a few hours, a less experienced attorney will likely bill you for more research time. In other words, you are paying the attorney to learn and gain more experience. In the long run, you are paying about the same, but it “seems” as if you are getting a deal because the less experienced attorney is charging a lower hourly rate.
You Are Worth the Cost
When you are hiring an estate planning attorney, do not think of the fee in terms of what the attorney is worth. Think of the fee in terms of what you and what your family are worth. Estate planning is much more than just drafting a will or a power of attorney. Comprehensive estate planning is about protecting your assets from creditors, providing for your family if you are incapacitated, providing for a special needs family member, planning for retirement, planning for your children’s education, and much more. Aren’t you and your family worth the cost of an experienced estate planning attorney?
The attorneys and staff of Lovett & House Co., LPA in Ohio are here to help you with all of your estate planning needs. It is never too early to begin estate planning. Regardless of your current financial situation, you need an estate plan. Contact our office to schedule a consultation. It may be the best decision you can make for your future and your family’s future.