FAQ

Frequently Asked Question

Feel free to click through our most frequently asked questions below. Each will expand to give you more information. If you have a more in depth question or would like to talk with Preston give him a call at 303-893-4122 or Click Here to send him an email.

How much do your services cost?

The time spent on your behalf is typically billed at our hourly rates, currently $315 per hour for Attorney time, $245 for Associate Attorney time, $145 per hour for Paralegal time, and $115 per hour for Legal Assistant time. These rates may change, and you can get updated information about our current rates at any time by visiting this site again in the future. As legal services are provided, you will be sent monthly statements. Our firm maintains detailed time records for billing of services rendered, and your monthly summary statement shall apprise you of all work and administration applied to your matter.

We may be able to provide our services on a flat fee basis. A “Flat Fee” is where we charge one fee for the total scope of work we would do for you. Examples of this may be Estate Planning documents or the Incorporation of a new business entity. Other legal matters are handled on an hourly basis as described above. We try to utilize support staff as appropriate to keep legal fees as cost-effective as possible.

What are some factors that affect the cost of legal services?

Factors that could affect the cost of your case are the type and complexity of the work we are completing for you, and how responsive you are in reviewing documents and answering questions (see “What can I do to save money?”). There is always the possibility of circumstances arising that cannot be fully anticipated. For this reason we cannot give you a specific answer for the cost of an hourly project. During your initial consultation we will review your project and try to give you an estimate of cost range and time expected.

What is an Engagement Letter?

Once we have mutually agreed that we would like to work together, you will be asked to sign (and return) an Engagement Letter. The Engagement Letter is our firm’s contract with you and will outline who is the client, the subject matter to be addressed, the scope of work to be completed, and the fees and required Retainer.

The Engagement Letter will also address items regarding our process, personal representation vs. joint representation and dispute resolution. If you are engaging us on an hourly basis, your Engagement Letter may include additional discussion items such as a Retaining lien, a Charging Lien, and a one-time file set-up fee.

What is a Retainer?

You may be asked to pay a Retainer. A Retainer is a deposit toward the fees and costs that will be incurred during the work on your project. The money paid on Retainer is held in a Trust Account until the fees are earned by our firm. The amount of Retainer is typically half of the flat fee amount, or one-half of the hourly fees initially anticipated. If the Retainer is more than enough to cover the work provided, then the balance will be refunded to you once the work is completed. If the work performed is more than the initial Retainer amount, we may require you to keep the Retainer replenished as the work is performed. The Retainer is just a portion of the cost of the work to be performed, it is not the total fee.

What should I bring to my meeting?

Here are some suggestions for what to bring to your meeting with your attorney:

  • A pen and pad of paper. In the course of your conversation with your attorney, you will want to write down notes on any issues or questions that arise.
  • A list of questions. Clients often have various questions and concerns before a meeting, one or more of which they then forget to ask when sitting face-to-face with their attorney. Write these questions down ahead of time, to make sure you get every query answered while you're in your meeting.
  • A check for the initial consultation fee, unless specifically arranged otherwise.
  • Any documents relevant to your case. If, for example, you are negotiating a lease and want the lawyer to review it, you should bring a copy of the draft lease. If possible, make multiple copies of each document you give to your lawyer, so that you can retain a set.

Who can I bring to my meeting?

You should bring to your initial meeting all individuals that will become our client. This includes both a husband and a wife where we are completing estate planning documents for both spouses. In an initial meeting for a business entity, all business owners should be present if we will be representing the business entity. If we are only going to represent one business owner, only that owner should be present.

Who should NOT come to my meeting?

Attorneys understand that people may feel anxious about discussing their matter with them or meeting them for the first time. To help you feel comfortable you can ask a trusted friend or family member to accompany you to your appointment. It is helpful to let the attorney know before your appointment that you intend to bring someone with you for support. In order to preserve the Attorney-Client privilege, the attorney conducting the meeting may ask that the other person wait outside for portion(s) of the meeting. Presence of a third-party who is not engaged with the attorney may constitute a waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege, and sometimes may suggest undue influence.

What can I do to save money?

Remember that lawyers usually charge fees for the time spent on your case. This means we track our time and charge time when you call, email, or write to us, or we do to you. When looking to save costs, consider:

  • Photocopying your own documents;
  • If you cannot reach us directly, leaving a clear and detailed message may remove the need for us to call you back;
  • Be diligent and tell your attorney everything about your legal matter. This will allow the attorney to manage your matter efficiently from the start.
  • Be responsive with questions we ask of you or with reviewing draft documents. The more we have to follow up with you, the more you will be charged for the repeated follow up time.

Can I use Legal Forms from the Internet?

We understand that hiring an attorney can be expensive. We also understand there are online legal forms and services available. We caution that the saying “you get what you pay for” is often true when it comes to legal services. Online legal forms, such as those found on various websites, are often not provided by a law firm. The people answering the chat questions or phone calls are likely not lawyers. They are not able to review your answers for legal sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide legal advice, or apply the law to the facts of your particular situation, even if they give you blank forms to complete on your own (this can also cause problems later). Each state has unique laws that affect how estates are governed, or businesses are formed. Everyone’s personal situation is also unique. If mistakes are made as you are creating your Will or forming your business entity you might not know until it is too late, causing problems for your heirs or leading to liability for a costly business mistake. It is wise to consult with a local attorney that specializes in the area you need, and is licensed in the state in which you live. It will be money well-spent in the long run.

I don't have a lot of assets. Do I really need to Estate Plan?

Everyone should have an Estate Plan in place. Without a properly executed Will and/or Trust, and depending on your assets, your Estate may need to be probated. Having an Estate Plan can also help avoid or mitigate potential disputes between heirs, even where assets have sentimental rather than monetary value. With your Estate Plan, we will also typically execute Powers of Attorney and Living Wills, which are important to have in place in case you become incapacitated, regardless of wealth or age.

How old do you need to be to make a Will or execute another type of Ancillary Document?

You must be at least eighteen (18) to execute a Will, Power of Attorney, or Living Will. For more information on this topic, please see “So You’re 18 Now: A Survival Guide for Young Adults”

What if I have questions about the services I have been receiving (or my bill)?

We strongly believe in open communication. We work hard to provide the best service to our clients. If you have questions about your bill, or concerns about our relationship, please bring this to our attention. We will be happy to discuss it with you. Our goal is to come to a mutual solution.

Does my attorney have to do everything I ask?

No. Your attorney has a duty to give you honest and accurate legal advice. They may not need to do all you ask them to do if it contradicts their advice, or especially if it goes against their duty to the Court. If you disagree with the advice you have been given, you have the right to change attorneys. However, your attorney is entitled to charge you for the time they have worked for you, and you will be required to pay the bill when you finish, rather than waiting until the end of your legal matter. Per our Retaining Lien, we will be entitled to keep your file until our bill is paid.

What is your Process?

Our Process:

  1. Engagement – when we receive the signed Engagement Letter and required Retainer;
  2. Questionnaire – we will send the appropriate questionnaire to you for completion to gather to necessary information so we prepare draft documents as outlined in the Engagement Letter;
  3. Drafting – Upon receipt of the Questionnaire we will prepare drafts and send to you, typically within four (4) weeks of receiving the Questionnaire. Once you receive drafts the remaining balance of the fee will be required for Flat Fee clients;
  4. Execution/Signing – Once you have had the opportunity to review all of the draft documents, we request that you contact our office to schedule a time to execute your outstanding documents. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have, and we will set a time, Monday thru Thursday between the hours of 9am and 3pm, to get together to sign the documents.