Fees and Payments Policies
Complimentary New Client Informational and Intake Call
Our new client informational or intake call is complimentary. During this call, you can ask general questions about how we can help you, what to expect from working with us, and how to get started. We never provide legal advice during these calls. Legal advice is only provided once you have hired Fisher Law by signing a fee agreement that defines the scope of our work and provide a retainer or initial deposit for such work.
You can schedule a time to talk with our staff by emailing email@example.com with your name, some basic information about the nature of your call or inquiry, and the best time and number to call you. Alternatively, you can call our office at (781) 821-8800.
You can find helpful information on our website by reading our blogs or, if you like, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
Flat Consultation Fee
We charge a consultation fee that is paid at the time of scheduling an appointment or paid prior to the date of your initial attorney consultation. We no longer ask the attorney to collect this consultation fee during the meeting; it is a fee paid upfront by credit card, cash or check. For our work that involves drafting estate plans, that may include a Last Will and Testament, a revocable trust, an irrevocable trust, or special needs planning, we charge flat fees. The consultation fee is credited to the overall flat fee that we charge. That is, you do not pay a consultation fee and then a separate fee to do the estate planning work. It is one fee, but the consultation fee is paid whether you go forward or not. For matters where we charge hourly, such as probate or trust administration, we typically do not collect a flat consultation fee but the time for such meeting will be charged against the retainer provided upon being formally hired.
Flat Fees for Estate Planning
Estate planning that involves the drafting of wills and/or trusts, long-term care planning or Medicaid or MassHealth planning and special needs planning, are charged at a flat or set fee. Most expenses relating to these matters, such as overnight delivery services, postage, copying, telephone conferences, etc. are not charged separately. However, recording fees paid to the Registry of Deeds or any fees related to correcting title issues are charged separately and not covered in the flat fees; these types of expenses are the responsibility of the client.
Hourly Fees for Probate and Trust Administration, as well as Guardianships and Conservatorships
Probate and trust administration matters are notoriously difficult to predict, and thus flat fees are not appropriate for these types of matters. It is almost impossible to know at the outset exactly what it will take to move the matter through to completion. There are many unknowns and often surprises when it otherwise seems very simple at the onset. For example, there may be missing heirs, ambiguities in the Last Will and Testament or trust, a delay in the opening of a probate that requires a Late and Limited Probate to be filed, real property in another jurisdiction that will require an ancillary proceeding, an estate tax return to be filed, or even a MassHealth lien that was previously unknown until after a probate matter has been filed.
Often the very information needed to assess the scope of the matter and the associated flat fee is unavailable until the administration process has begun.
The first step is to complete a probate or trust administration questionnaire. At the end of the initial consultation, if you choose to retain us for probate or administration services, we will set an appropriate, initial retainer based on the anticipated scope of services to enable us to begin working on the matter.
We will work closely together to guide you through the probate and/or trust administration process, using the funds in your client trust account to pay both the necessary court filing and other related costs, fees and expenses, such as publication fees, appraisals, and other professionals’ services. We will keep you informed by providing monthly or periodic invoices that detail the time and work performed for such time or reporting period.