Author Topic: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?  (Read 1534 times)

AndyV

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Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« on: March 17, 2017, 06:22:14 AM »
Hello Mustachians,

My wife and I (age 33) are just starting the process of creating our wills. We have a 2 year old child, have a home (with mortgage), 90k in retirement accounts, $35k student loans, and 1.5 million in term life policies between my wife and I.

I'm looking for guidance on any of the following items:

1. A friend referred us to a lawyer who's quoted us $1,000 to put this together based on our information above. I have no basis for comparison here, does this seem reasonable or is there a potential significant savings by going through Legalzoom.com or other online approaches.  Is our situation simple enough to do this ourselves? 

2. Trying to not be morbid here, but my wife and I are taking our first big vacation away from our son this weekend.  Any suggestions for a temporary measure God forbid something were to happen?  We have the will paperwork from the lawyer filled out, was planning to leave this in our safe along with a simple list of all our bank accounts/mortgage info, life policies/etc and let my parents know where this is.  I realize this is NOT legally binding, but i guess it's just a warm fuzzy more than anything.  Any thoughts or suggestions here?   


Kl285528

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 06:40:16 AM »
Check with your local credit union, mine offered a very inexpensive meeting with an attorney for the purposes of drafting a will. $1000 seems high for what looks like a simple will.

FLBiker

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 06:59:13 AM »
Check with your local credit union, mine offered a very inexpensive meeting with an attorney for the purposes of drafting a will. $1000 seems high for what looks like a simple will.

Thanks for this.  I just emailed my credit union.  We're in the same boat as OP (down to the 2 year old).  And we were also quoted about $1000, but it was for a packet of will / living will / durable power of attorney.  I think we'll do it if the credit union doesn't have anything.

Freedomin5

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 07:02:29 AM »
Similar situation (married with a two year old).

We got our wills done last year and thought it would be simple. NOPE.

I thought I would be helpful and downloaded a will template off the Internet and filled it in, then sent it to our lawyer to review. She totally ripped it apart!

The lawyer asked us a Bunch of questions, like, what happens if one of you die? Surviving spouse gets the assets.

What if both of you die? Kid gets the assets.

What if one of you die, and the other gets remarried and then they have a second kid? Because in that case, the surviving spouse gets all the assets, and if the surviving spouse then dies, the step-spouse gets all the assets and your kid is left with nothing. When step-spouse dies, second kid (kid of the step-spouse and surviving spouse) gets all the assets.

What if one spouse has a kid out of wedlock? Does that kid get any assets when the cheating spouse dies?

And then there's also questions about who will take care of your kid if you both die. Typically you have to name three people in succession (basically, if the first person can't/won't do it, it goes to the second, etc.). And how will they access money to take care of your kid (assuming they can access your insurance policy)?

Anyway, it got complicated really quickly.

We also got Power of Attorneys done at the same time.

All in all, it cost us around $300. For a lawyer who does this day in and day out, it's simple and pretty standard because they know what questions to ask, but for us normal people it is anything but simple. My take is that it was money well spent to ensure that our wills hold up in a court of law and that my kid will be well taken care of and won't be taken advantage of by unscrupulous adults.

Freedomin5

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 07:08:46 AM »
Also, someone else asked something similar on a different thread:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/best-way-to-get-a-will-put-together-inexpensively/

Lots of useful response on that thread.

FLBiker

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 07:32:55 AM »
All in all, it cost us around $300. For a lawyer who does this day in and day out, it's simple and pretty standard because they know what questions to ask, but for us normal people it is anything but simple. My take is that it was money well spent to ensure that our wills hold up in a court of law and that my kid will be well taken care of and won't be taken advantage of by unscrupulous adults.

Wait, was this in the US?  That seems like a great price.

PepperPeter

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 08:40:43 AM »
I'm a trusts and estates paralegal.  $1,000 for a good set of documents including powers of attorney for property and healthcare and wills is very inexpensive.  Legalzoom and other online products are garbage and will create many other problems for your beneficiaries in the end, guaranteed.

There are no "temporary" measures to estate planning.  I don't follow what you mean by you have the will paperwork "filled out."  A will must be executed with the formalities of law required by your state or it's not a will.  If you both die this weekend, your child will likely go to foster care until your parents can get appointed guardian by a court.  Leaving information in a safe is also largely useless unless your parents have the combination because they would need a court order to have a locksmith enter the safe otherwise. 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 08:44:48 AM by PepperPeter »

iris lily

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 09:34:25 AM »
We just had our plannng docuemts executed by an attorney who specialized in eldr care and wills and trusts. Her standard fee is $3,200 amd that is in St. Louis. That included a revocable trust, a pour over will,  and end of life documents for both of us.

Already we have called her office 6 times as we make the necessary changes to our financial instruments and accounts. I imagine we will make more calls as we work put details with each  financial institution. So, her work does not end with the execution of the documents.

I found her office to be a well oiled machine, everyone there knew their role,and were competent.

Earlier, we worked with another attorney who was movng into teusts and wills and he quoted $2,000 as his fee.

myrax

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2017, 02:12:07 PM »
There are no "temporary" measures to estate planning.  I don't follow what you mean by you have the will paperwork "filled out."  A will must be executed with the formalities of law required by your state or it's not a will.

This is so true and important. My father-in-law died over two years ago with an online will that was not fully executed. His estate is now being handled as if he had no will, despite whatever his wishes were in his will.

It's not a big deal as it's a small amount of money and the intestate laws are pretty reasonable. When children are part of the picture, you need to have your will executed.

Freedomin5

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Re: Will Costs and Temporary Placeholders?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 10:01:11 AM »
All in all, it cost us around $300. For a lawyer who does this day in and day out, it's simple and pretty standard because they know what questions to ask, but for us normal people it is anything but simple. My take is that it was money well spent to ensure that our wills hold up in a court of law and that my kid will be well taken care of and won't be taken advantage of by unscrupulous adults.

Wait, was this in the US?  That seems like a great price.

Sorry, Canada.