While we do sympathize with individuals who find themselves in a situation that requires quick action, expedited (rushed) legal services cause law firms to put a new case ahead of existing clients. It can also disrupt current projects and interfere with office scheduling. Particularly in the case of expedited Wills or other estate planning, the firm generally has to block off multiple days to increase the chance of executing the documents before it is too late. The firm may not always be able to accommodate an “emergency” or time-sensitive situation, but when it can, an additional fee may be charged to compensate for the firm having to put aside existing projects, block off sufficient time, and refocus on the expedited case. This is in no way done to take advantage of someone who needs help quickly, but is done to minimally compensate the firm for what is often a substantial loss of productivity.
Because this is a common issue, we strongly encourage people to take care of their estate planning as soon as possible so that they do not end up in a situation where there is little time or it is too late to get things in order. It is risky to assume that you will have a chance to execute documents at the time they are needed. There is no guarantee in an emergency that a person will have the physical or mental ability to prepare and execute complicated legal documents. The best time to prepare legal documents is before you need them.