Attorney Fees

View my Legal Consultation Policy

The First Step

The first step is to schedule a time for your consultation with David M. McCleary and complete the estate planning initial client questionnaire or if you are thinking about divorce then complete the divorce questionnaire and the verified financial statement if you live in Genesee County.

In the meantime, please continue to browse our site to learn more about our firm and how we can help you with your legal matter. You can contact our office via phone 810 516-5116 or email me directly.

Before we meet you may want to take a look at these articles on divorce and estate planning fees.



People ask:  "How much will my divorce cost?"

The answer is: It depends!!

Generally four factors are involved:

  1. Number one: How acrimonious will you and your spouse be?
  2. Number two: How complicated are your assets and debts and will you and your spouse be able to agree on how your assets and debts will be divided?
  3. Number three: Can you and your spouse agree on child custody, parenting time and support issues?
  4. Number four: Who your spouse hires as an attorney.

Typical fees to retain an attorney for a divorce case can range from $1,500 for an uncontested, no property, no children matter, to as high as $3,000-$5,000 or more if child support, property issues or a pension are involved. Considering the seriousness of this life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of divorce.

Also keep in mind that hiring an attorney that is a "fighter" generally just costs you and your spouse more money because the attorney may be willing to create problems or not try and quickly resolve them so as to increase the total fee. Also, hiring the cheapest attorney may well be "penny wise and pound foolish" because he or she may not respond to your telephone calls, have "office staff" giving you legal advice or not completely researching your legal issue to get the best result. Hiring an experienced attorney that knows how to effectively end your marriage and resolve issues is generally more cost effective and less emotional in the long run. Hire the right attorney the first time.

Many law firms say that they offer personalized service, but their actions don't always reflect that when it comes to dealing with their clients. I'm David McCleary, and at my law firm, McCleary & Associates, P.C., I take those words to heart. I want to be your trusted adviser for all of your family law needs.

I meet with all my clients personally, one-on-one. This means I can offer a true individualized service to my clients. You always meet with me directly, not with an assistant or staff member.

I look forward to meeting with you and helping you with your legal matter.



How Much Do You Charge for a Will? 
If you came to this page to find out what I’ll charge you for a Will or you are considering calling me (or any other attorney) to ask, "How much do you charge for a will?" stop.

It’s not the right question. And I’m glad I caught you in time.

The question you want to ask first is "What do I really need to have in place to ensure I, my family, and my money are cared for the way I want?"  Far too many people make their estate planning decisions based on what it’s going to cost. Sometimes, that may be the right criteria. Most of the time it’s not.

The problem is you don’t know what you don’t know.

When you get on the internet to download a cheap will or fill out canned documents from a book or DIY kit from the office supply store, you don’t know what you are actually putting into place or setting in motion.

When tragedy strikes, it’s your family who is left holding the bag: Failed plans, unnecessary, expensive, public probate, multiple probates in different states, legal fees for guardianships and conservatorships, being at the mercy of the judicial system. 

When you hire me, you aren’t paying for documents . You are hiring me for my guidance throughout your lifetime and to be there for your loved ones when you can’t be.


When you hire me, you aren’t renting my time, but my brain and my heart. You are hiring an ally who will help you get your affairs in order, and keep them there across time and changes in the law, tax policies and your life.


When you call me and ask how much for a Will, I can’t give you an answer because I don’t even know if that’s what you need.  Maybe a Will would suffice for your family, but maybe it won’t.  And if I tell you how much a Will costs and then you come into my office and you need so much more, you’ll be angry with me.

So I won’t answer your question.  Because I don’t charge for Wills.  I charge for advice, guidance, counsel and support.  The Will? It’s free.

Our process begins with a Planning Session.  Before this Session, you will need to complete the questionnaire on the contact page hot link.

Whether I ever write a Will (or any other documents) for you or not, I want every interaction of ours to be extremely valuable to you.

To that end, I’ll review the homework you complete before we meet.  And then we’ll invest our time together exploring your life, looking at what would happen to you, your children, your money, and the people you love if anything happens to you.

You will feel heard, cared about, informed, educated, and empowered to make the best decisions for the people and things that matter most in your life.

If, after we spend that time together, it turns out you need a Will (or any other type of legal planning), it will be because we came to that conclusion together.

Then, I will offer you planning packages that will cover the different options for taking care of things the way you want.

I can tell you this – most of our foundational plans range between $1,500 and $8,000.  Your package will be customized to the specific needs of your family.  And you will stay in control the whole time.

How do you choose a lawyer, if not based on price?

  • Get referrals from your friends and family. When you call the office to inquire about their services, rather than asking what they charge, ask HOW they charge and what makes their office different than others.
  • Get connected. When you find the right lawyer, he or she will be a member of your team for the long term, not for just this one transaction. Your lawyer should be approachable and not only want to be in a long-term relationship with you, but have systems and a team to support that.
  • Simply ask, "What do you charge for a Will?" does not get you what you need to know to make a smart and loving decision for your family.

A far more powerful question to begin with is "What do I need to do to make things as easy for my family as possible, if something happens to me?"

Please call me to find out.

"Asking how much a will or trust costs is much like asking how much a house costs. There is a wide range between a tiny cabin in rural Montana and the castles of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue."     ~  Follow this link to read More

Depending on where you live and how complicated your family and financial circumstances are, a lawyer may charge anything from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for a will and other basic estate planning documents.

How Lawyers Charge

Estate planning lawyers don't all charge the same way. You may want to ask up front if you're more comfortable with one way or another.

  • Flat Fees 
    It’s very common for a lawyer to charge a flat fee to write a will and other basic estate planning documents. The low end for a simple lawyer-drafted will is around $300. A price of closer to $1,000 is more common, and it’s not unusual to find a $1,200 price tag.
  • Packages 
    Some attorneys who specialize in estate matters offer will "packages." Don't confuse these with those you might purchase online or at an office supply store. Attorney packages usually include at least one meeting with the lawyer. The attorney then draws up your will according to your specifications. If you’re requesting only a will, the minimum cost can run from $150 to $600, for an average cost of about $375. If any complications or problems arise, the attorney might bill you for more time at his hourly rate. If you want more than just a will, such as a power of attorney and other estate planning documents, the cost can rise to $1,000 if you’re single or $1,500 if you’re married and requesting joint documents. 

    Follow this link to learn more.