Engagement and Fees

Do you charge for initial consultations?

We do not offer free consultations.  However, if you decide to engage us, the consultation fee will be waived. We will discuss our process and our fee structure with you at the appointment, and will then provide you with an engagement letter that sets out the scope of work to be performed, the total fees we will charge, and a variety of ethical matters we must tell you about.

What are fee arrangements?

We commonly use three different types of fee arrangements: 1) fixed fees; 2) percentage fees; and 3) hourly billing. We generally invoice these matters on a regular basis, with payment expected by credit card, check or in cash within 30 days.

To ensure that you know what your representation will cost at the outset, we may use fixed fees for services such as estate planning and asset protection planning.  The fees are based upon our factual analysis of your situation and the legal matters presented, as well as the time it should take us to address and complete your matter.

Percentage fees may be used when we serve as a fiduciary such as an executor, trustee or guardian and are based upon a percentage of the assets we are managing. Such fees are based upon schedules published by the Commissioner of Accounts and approved by the Courts.

Hourly billing is calculated by multiplying the hourly billing rate of the lawyer (or lawyers) providing the service by the time spent on the matter.  We will charge by the hour for services such as assisting a fiduciary with administration of a trust or estate.

Engagement Letters:

You will be provided a detailed engagement letter setting out the scope of services to be performed, the applicable billing rate, and the required advance fee. All advance fees are held in our Lawyers Trust Account for your benefit until the fee is earned and you have received an invoice for our services. We ask that you review the engagement letter carefully when you receive it, then sign one copy and return it to us with your advance fee.  We will then be able to begin work on your matter.

Costs and expenses:

We may bill you for costs and expenses we incur in connection with your matter such as court filing fees, couriers or express mail charges, faxes and photocopies.  If we plan to do so, that will be included in your engagement letter.

Can we arrange to meet at home?

Yes, we have and frequently do meet with clients in their homes, a hospital, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility. We may charge a fee to cover the additional travel time for the attorney and any additional staff members required in connection with your matter, and this will be set out in the engagement letter.