Author Topic: Online options for setting up a will?  (Read 2093 times)

Swat

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Online options for setting up a will?
« on: April 08, 2017, 11:49:43 AM »
Resident physician with a new kid at home. We donít have many assets at this point but was interested in setting up a will to handle affairs in the event of my death. Looking for something basic that is inexpensive but is a legal document and was looking for suggestions of possible resources and other thoughts. I have heard of LegalZoom but that is about it. Any suggestions? How about a living will?

TheBuddha

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 09:05:12 PM »
I've heard Clark Howard recommend Quicken Willmaker.

pbkmaine

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2017, 09:43:59 PM »
Go to an attorney who specializes in trusts and estates. It's not just the documents; it's having an expert ask you the right questions.

MidWestLove

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 08:41:17 AM »
get a professional -too important to get it wrong.

you need to consider at least the following
- healthcare power of attorney
- guardianship issues (who will take your kids of you and your wife are both gone at the same time)
- estate issues (with/without insurance)
- etc

this is NOT the time to cheap out - screw it up once and you will spend decades undoing the screw up.

Spork

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 09:21:09 AM »

Shop around, but get an attorney -- especially with a child and the potential for high earnings.  Talk to some folks that have done it.  If you know any attorneys/legal assistants -- ask their opinion.

My Dad's estate attorney could not do ANYTHING (even simple things) for under $3k.  If you had a meeting with him, it always lasted exactly one hour.  Even a followup on a simple question was an hour.  An email to him cost $200.

When my wife and I got ours done, it was a flat fee of $750 for 2 wills.  The entire meeting was 15 minutes at most.


Poundwise

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 07:13:06 AM »
You can try Suze Orman's Will and Trust kit.  We used it, and had no problems. If you're really looking to be thrifty, get it out of the library first, and make sure that it has what you need.

http://www.suzeorman.com/books-kits/collections-and-kits/must-have-documents/

AMandM

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 08:07:10 AM »
The problem with any will is that you can't know it's done wrong until it's too late to do anything about it.  Ideally, if you know of someone who died and whose estate was settled smoothly, you'd use whatever/whomever they used. But if they died old, whoever did their will might well be retired by now.

Poundwise

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 08:48:13 AM »
Very true!  We use the software wills for now because for us, it was the difference between will/no will.

MidWestLove

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 09:05:25 AM »
"The problem with any will is that you can't know it's done wrong until it's too late to do anything about it."

many times this, especially if complex instruments are involved (trusts, insurances ,etc). My in-laws are still dealing with unwrapping the set up that was made in the 80s to make it 'right' (to ensure tax treatment of what they want to pass to their children) and after 5 digit spend they are still not 100% certain how the state/IRS would actually treat it even after all of the legal opinions and language and transfers they made. not a good situation.

get it right, first time. the money you will save longer term would be so much worth it.

BFGirl

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Re: Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 10:01:20 AM »
When I was in private practice, I made a lot more money on estates where someone had a "do it yourself" will than I ever did where the will was drafted by an attorney.  Even if a DIY will is valid, in my state there is certain "magic language" in the will that makes probate easier and less expensive than if that language isn't there.  It is well worth the expense to have your will done by an attorney.

pbkmaine

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Online options for setting up a will?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2017, 09:44:37 PM »
It's more than that. A friend of mine was named executor for her ex-husband's estate, because their children were the only beneficiaries. He had a do-it-yourself will. At one point he had taken the pages apart and restapled them. This caused the estate no end of delays because the court was unsure if anything had been changed after his death. Documents are very important in estate law, and an attorney will make sure they are done right.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 09:58:23 PM by pbkmaine »