Do you want to get started on the estate planning process?
Contact us by phone or email to schedule an appointment to:
- create or update your estate plan
- discuss long-term care planning
- apply for long-term Medicaid (MassHealth) to pay for nursing home costs
- get assistance with estate or trust administration, including probate, or
- discuss other legal services you may need
Jennifer Poles is our Client Services Coordinator. When you call or email us to set up an appointment (telephone call or video conference during COVID), Jennifer will schedule an appointment for you, explain our process (including billing), send you a questionnaire and/or a list of documents for you to bring to your initial meeting, and provide you with driving directions to our office in Dedham.
For our Estate Planning Clients. We ask all of our estate planning clients to complete a Client Questionnaire before our initial meeting so that the meeting is informative and productive. The Questionnaire can be completed on your computer using our fillable form or by hand. Simply click on the link, download the form (down arrow in the upper right-hand corner), fill in the information, and save and/or print.
After you have completed the Questionnaire, please either:
- Mail your completed Questionnaire to Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC, ATTN: Jennifer Poles, 858 Washington Street, Suite 202, Dedham, MA 02026, or
- Fax it to 781-461-0916, or
- Email your completed Questionnaire to Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If emailing, please do so as an encrypted document since the Questionnaire will contain information such as Social Security Numbers and account numbers that should NOT be e-mailed for data security reasons.
If you would like to know more about our process before you contact us, below are some frequently asked questions.
Do you charge hourly or is there a flat fee for your services? Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC generally charges a flat fee for preparation of estate plan documents (Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, health care documents, etc.). Our flat fees for estate plan documents range from about $1,975 to $6,700+ depending upon a client’s particular situation.
We also charge a flat fee for representation in connection with the preparation and filing of a MassHealth Application for long-term care benefits to pay for nursing home care. Fees for preparation of a MassHealth application typically range from $8,500 to $12,000.
Estate and trust administration services and long-term care planning services are billed on an hourly basis.
Is there a fee for the first meeting? Yes, Samuel, Sayward & Baler LLC charges a flat fee of $400 for an initial estate planning meeting which is then applied against the flat fee for the estate plan. For example, if the flat fee for your estate plan documents is $3,100, the $400 you pay at the initial meeting will be credited against the flat fee leaving a balance of $2,700.
If your consultation is for an estate or trust administration matter or for long-term care planning, the initial meeting will be billed on an hourly basis.
How do I know if I need estate planning or long-term care planning? If you are coming in to see us because you have a family member who is about to go into a nursing home or who is already in a nursing home, then you need long-term care planning and perhaps a MassHealth application. This meeting will be billed on an hourly basis.
If you are curious about whether you should transfer your house or other assets to a trust to protect assets from having to be spent down on long-term care costs, or if you would like to discuss how you would pay for long-term care if and when it is needed, you should make an appointment to see one of our lawyers for estate and long-term care planning. This will be an initial estate planning appointment and the fee for the meeting will be $400.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my initial estate planning meeting? You may want to review our Fiduciaries Worksheet which explains the roles of the various fiduciaries who you will appoint in your estate plan. This includes for example, the Personal Representative under your Will (formerly called Executor), Guardians and Conservators for minor children, a Health Care Agent, and an Attorney-in-fact. Understanding a little bit about the duties and responsibilities of these positions may help you to decide who is best suited to serve in these roles. Some clients find it useful to print the Fiduciaries Worksheet and make notes about people they are considering naming for discussion with the attorney.