Your initial consultation
is your opportunity to determine if we can provide the type of estate planning services you are interested in and to discuss
fees. The first step is to call and schedule your initial consultation. The initial consultation is your first
appointment at our office. During the initial consultation we will discuss your estate needs and the type of estate documents
that you are interested in having reviewed or created. We will come to a mutual decision as to whether our office
will represent you as your attorney for your estate planning needs. If we cannot provide the legal assistance you
need, we will make every effort to refer you to someone who can. During the initial consultation we will discuss a variety
of topics, including legal questions you may have and the legal fees that will be associated with your case. If we agree to
representation, you will be sent an engagement letter that summarizes our meeting, the services to be provided, and
the legal fees and payment we discussed. The first 30 minutes of your initial consultation is free. After
the first 30 minutes, you will be charged at the hourly billing rate.
Many estate planning documents are
best billed at an hourly rate. It is often impossible to know exactly how long it will create the exact will, trust, or other
document that will meet your needs. Often, there will be several revisions of a document until you are satisfied
that it exactly expresses your wishes. If we agree to hourly legal fees, you are only charged for the exact amount of
time I spend on your case to the nearest 1/10 of an hour (6 minute) increment times my hourly rate.
Some estate documents such as a simple will, healthcare directive, or power of attorney can be billed on a fixed fee
rate. If a fixed fee is available for the legal matter in question, you will be informed of the fixed fee. The
fixed fee is charged no matter how much time is spent on the fixed fee matter.
FILE ESTABLISHMENT FEE
clients are charged a one-time file establishment fee of $50.00 to cover the cost of the set-up of your client file in the
office and on the computer systems, office supplies necessary to create your documents, postage, and other office costs.
There is a $5.00 charge for each document notarized.
PREPAYMENT, RETAINERS, HAWAII GET, AND BILLING STATEMENTS
way that you pay your legal fees will depend on the fee arrangement and type of legal matter. If we agree to an hourly billing
rate, you will be asked to provide a retainer payment before legal services begin. This retainer is placed into a client trust
account and legal fees are withdrawn from the account when billed. If your legal matter is completed and funds remain, they
are promtly refunded to you. If the initial retainer is used before your legal matter is completed, you will be asked to provide
an additional retainer for continued legal work. Clients are required to pre-pay 50% of the fees for fixed fee matters and
pay the remainder upon completion of the work.
All legal services in Hawaii are subject to the Hawaii General
Excise Tax (GET). The current GET tax rate is 4.166%. Your bill for legal services will show this this additional tax amount
on all amounts billed.
All clients receive a detailed billing at the completion of estate planning services. Clients
are encouraged to contact the office concerning any billing questions.