An attorney may charge $300 to $400 for a simple will, which takes about 1.5 hours to complete, if the attorney normally bills $200 to $266 per hour. A more complex will may take about five to 10 billable hours to complete. The rates for drafting a will in Georgia vary based on many factors. As with other business services, the best way to determine if a rate is reasonable is to shop around and see what local attorneys are charging.
Under the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyer's fee must be "reasonable." Determining a reasonable fee for writing a will is based on factors such as the time and labor required, the difficulty of the questions involved and the skill needed to perform the legal service properly. The fee also should be similar to what other local attorneys charge.
In Georgia, a person who dies without a will dies "intestate." The distribution of the person's estate is determined based on the state's rules of intestate succession. This rule-based distribution generally divides the estate in equal shares among the survivors, based on their relationship to the deceased person. For example, a person's spouse and two children may each receive one-third of the estate.
A simple will is generally one that an experienced attorney can draft without extended research. The average price can vary based on location, the attorney's experience and other factors. A simple will may, on average, cost only a few hundred dollars. This can be a flat fee if the attorney uses a template to draft the will.
A more complex will generally requires more time to research and draft the will. Such wills may include tax issues and trusts. Disclaimers often require more complex drafting language to ensure proper execution of the will during probate. A more complex will often results from the size and complexity of the person's estate.
Christopher Provost began writing in law school, as vice chair of the Moot Court Team in 2007. He wrote as a law clerk at a federal district court from 2008-09 and has been published by the "Dayton Daily News." Provost holds a B.A. in criminal justice from the University of Dayton and received his J.D. from John Marshall Law School.