Costing wills and powers can be difficult. It is often not clear at the outset the extent of work which will be required. While many wills are ‘simple’, the complexity of a client’s financial position or their family arrangements can mean hours of time spent taking and confirming instructions and sometimes reviewing documents such as their self managed superannuation fund deed, or a family trust deed. The intended uses for a power of attorney are many and varied and may involve detailed advice. Any issues of capacity may also add significant time and expense.
Is a flat fee for a ‘simple’ will or a ‘standard’ power appropriate, or should an hourly rate apply?
Are there any scale costs that can be used as a guide? What costs disclosures must be made to the client?
What arrangements should be made for the storage of original wills?
How should copies of documents be managed?
These practical questions are dealt with in new sections of commentary on Costs and Storage in our NSW, Vic, Qld, SA, ACT, Tas and WA wills and powers publications.
All of these publications include the By Lawyers wills and powers Costs Agreements and example invoices, which meet costs disclosure requirements and include disbursements, billing and payment arrangements, client rights notice and solicitor’s lien provisions, among others.