Trust fees vary widely so it pays to shop around and get quotes before making any commitments. Be sure you work with a lawyer who specializes in trusts. Ask friends and business associates to recommend reputable trust attorneys, then get three price quotes before retaining anyone.
When you use a specialist, not only are you more likely to wind up with a solid trust, trust attorneys have standard forms to use as a starting point. They’ll spend relatively little time adapting a standard form to your particular needs and that time savings should be reflected in savings to you.
Besides legal fees, you’ll likely have to pay tax preparation fees for income tax returns each year and perhaps gift tax returns. The fees for these returns should be moderate, no more than you’d pay in your area for a straightforward personal income tax return. Your own tax preparer may be able to handle the extra work at a reasonable rate.
Your biggest exposure, though, may be in the fees paid to manage the money in the trust fund. Don’t pay more than 2 percent per year; asset management fees of 3 percent or 4 percent are abusive. If you have a large amount in trust–$500,000 or more–fees should be 1 percent or lower.