All legal services at my firm are billed based on the time spent. My present hourly rate is $300 per hour.
As a licensed Michigan attorney, I provide services in the state of Michigan only.
Will I bill on a flat-rate billing basis? No.
Why not? Frankly, flat rate billing basis is not fair to clients. For clients who are very well-organized, and willing to do some of the administrative work of estate planning themselves, the flat rate option means they are over-charged. Also, for other clients, flat rate billing basis means that they may pay for estate planning documents they don’t regularly use. I do not find the flat rate billing to be price and cost effective for most clients, so I don’t flat rate bill.
I will, however, work with you at our initial meeting in setting a price range for the services I recommend for your Estate Plan—and the first half-hour of our consultation is without charge. I can help you craft an Estate Plan that fits your budget. I will also offer convenient payment terms, if that is a concern for you, and I accept credit cards.
What other charges, besides my time, might a client incur? If I am performing probate work, there are actual costs for which the client is responsible. Costs include court fees, service fees, mailing expenses, copy charges, research charges and the like. All costs are billed at what it costs my firm—I do not mark up for copy or postage charges, but pass the actual cost along to my clients. I take great pride that when I have had temporary assistants work for me they say “Wow, you bill so much less for costs than most firms I work at!” In my mind, clients should not pay extra than the costs that my firm incurs for any item, such as court and filing fees, postage and copies.
At my firm, I pride myself on fair billings and happy clients. I have so many clients who continue to work with me for many years, and that makes me confident that my clients feel they are receiving a great value for the work I perform.