What will it cost?
A fair question regarding legal representation.
Some legal expenses are modest, such as the cost of having a will drafted. Other legal expenses are quite high, such as legal battles that continue through trial. No matter what your legal needs are, we believe very strongly that you have a right to know what to expect. Although we do not have crystal balls that can tell the future, after more than 20 years of successful practice we are able to give you a reasoned estimate of what a litigation matter would cost.
Estate Planning matters are billed at a flat fee. At the conclusion of the free consultation, the attorney will have enough information to give you a flat fee amount for the drafting of all of your estate planning documents. There are no additional charges for additional consultations, changes or the office conference for the signing of your documents.
Most other matters are billed at an hourly rate. Billing is done in 1/10th of an hour increments and bills go out each month.
Regardless of what your legal needs are, we believe in clear communication and written fee agreements. The following are a few examples of our fee agreements:
EXAMPLE ESTATE PLANNING FEE AGREEMENT:
The law firm of TRUNKENBOLZ | ROHR PLLC, pledges our best professional efforts in the matter that you are entrusting to us and, in return, you agree to pay us a fee as agreed to in this agreement.
An Estate Plan will be drafted for you at a flat fee. The amount of the fee was calculated considering the complexity of the matter. Your Estate Plan requires the drafting of a Durable Power of Attorney, a Directive to Physicians (a/k/a Living Will or Right to Die) and a Last Will & Testament that may or may not include a trust to handle the disposition to minor heirs. The flat fee for the Estate Plan is $_________________. This fee includes all meetings, conferences and telephone calls leading up to the execution of the documents, the drafting of the documents, making requested changes to the documents and the final office conference to execute the documents. Payment of the fee is due on the date you execute your Estate Plan or 10 (ten) days after we send the draft documents to you. Your payment will be immediately placed in our operating account. Payment of a flat fee in advance does not impair your right to terminate our services and the flat fee structure does not extinguish the possibility that you may, or may not, have the right to a refund.
In addition to our fees, you agree to pay all costs incurred by us on your behalf. In Estate Planning cases such as yours, there are normally no charges unless you wish to have your Durable Power of Attorney recorded. Also, in the future, if you request a copy of your entire file, copies are made at $.15 a copy and $10.00 per hour, to be paid prior to receipt of these copies. Any work outside the scope of your estate planning will be billed at $________ per hour for attorney time and $_________ an hour for staff time.
The failure to pay the flat fee at the time the documents are executed or within 10 days of your receipt of the draft documents will result in a FINANCE CHARGE of 1½ per cent per month (18% ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE). Should any action be necessary to collect any amounts due, you agree to pay any and all costs of collection, including reasonable attorneys’ fees. Failure to abide by the above payment arrangements may result in our office withdrawing from your case and discontinuing any representation of your interests in your matter.
In the event a conflict of interest develops between Clients to this Fee Agreement, TRUNKENBOLZ | ROHR PLLC’s representation of all Clients to this Fee Agreement will stop, and each Client will obtain their own counsel. TRUNKENBOLZ | ROHR PLLC will no longer represent either Client at that point. This manner of concluding representation when a conflict arises is required by the Washington State Bar Association.
We pride ourselves in providing professional and cost effective legal services to our clients and we look forward to representing you.
EXAMPLE LITIGATION FEE AGREEMENT:
The law office of TRUNKENBOLZ | ROHR PLLC pledge our best professional efforts in the matter that you are entrusting to us and, in return, you agree to pay us a fee calculated on an hourly basis. Any time will be charged under the provisions set out below. The subject matter of this Fee Agreement is ________________________.
The hourly rate for the time spent on your matter by attorney Pamela H. Rohr is $________ per hour. The time billed to you for services by our staff is $_________ per hour. The time billed to you will be billed in 1/10 of an hour increments and will include, but not be limited to, conferences with you or other persons either in person or on the telephone, research, drafting of letters, telephone calls, interviewing witnesses, travel time and preparation for and appearance at court hearings. The hourly rate charged by the above attorney and staff may be changed from time to time. You will be notified in advance of any rate changes.
In some matters, a full or partial award of attorney’s fees may be available to you. Whether or not an award of attorney’s fees is made to you, you are responsible for payment in full of any fees due to this office. Any award of attorney’s fees actually paid to us will first be credited to your account to offset your liability to us for our fees. Any remaining balance due is your responsibility to pay, and any excess we receive will be refunded to you.
In addition to our fees, you agree to pay all costs incurred by us on your behalf. These costs ordinarily include: service of process fees, photocopying charges, postage, deposition fees, subpoena service fees, expert witness fees, and other witness fees. We agree not to incur any single cost on your behalf in excess of $100.00 without your prior consent.
You may be required to pay an advanced fee of $_________ before we begin to represent your interests. This advanced fee is for payment of attorney fees and costs once the services are provided or costs incurred. The amount of the advanced fee does not represent the total anticipated amount of attorney fees. The amount of your advanced fee was based upon the type and complexity of your matter and the fees and costs likely to be incurred should this case be settled without filing a lawsuit.
All amounts paid as an advanced fee will be retained in our trust account and amounts will be offset as services are provided or our office incurs costs. If, at any time during our representation of your interests, it appears that the remaining amount of your advanced fee held in trust will not be adequate to satisfy fees and costs likely to be incurred prior to the conclusion of your matter, you will be required to pay an additional advanced fee in order to continue our representation of your interests. At the conclusion of your matter, any remaining advanced fee amount will be repaid to you.
You will receive a statement each month for current charges (both fees and costs) for you to review regarding the progress of your case. The statement is payable in full upon receipt. If you fail to pay any balance due upon receipt of your bill, a FINANCE CHARGE of 1½ per cent per month (18% ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE) will be applied to the outstanding balance of your account not paid by the first day of the month following our sending you an invoice and/or statement. In addition, at $50.00 late fee will be billed on your next invoice. Should any action be necessary to collect any amounts due, you agree to pay any and all costs of collection, including reasonable attorneys’ fees. Failure to abide by the above payment arrangements may result in our office withdrawing from your case and discontinuing any representation of your interests in your matter.
We pride ourselves in providing the highest quality of legal services to our clients and look forward to representing you.
Any time you have a question regarding costs and attorney fees, an attorney will discuss the matter with you free of charge.
Fill out the contact form or call us at (509) 928-4100 to schedule your free consultation.