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Old 03-10-2011, 11:37 AM
 
297 posts, read 675,393 times
Reputation: 285

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Forgive me if this is a simple, but I'm getting conflicting advice. I want to create a will that's legal and valid in NC. Some have told me that I simply need to pull up an internet model, adapt it, and have some folks witness it. Others say I need to go through a lawyer for the will to be valid.

We don't have a large estate, but we do want to make sure that our children are provided for, custody follows our wishes, etc. if something happens to us.

Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:39 AM
 
5,525 posts, read 16,032,625 times
Reputation: 4270
We did ours using Quicken WillMaker. Got our next door neighbors to witness. From what I remember, a notary is not even necessary. Of course all of the lawyers on this forum will tell me I've made a big mistake.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,618 posts, read 7,730,104 times
Reputation: 4484
I used Willmaker as well with no complaints.

http://www.nolo.com/products/quicken...-plus-WQP.html
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
381 posts, read 1,248,012 times
Reputation: 231
You do not have to have an attorney to make a valid will, but it certainly does help in order to make sure it actually accomplishes what you want it to. You do need at least 2 witnesses who are not party to the will. I have not surveyed any of the software programs out there lately to see if they are effective. The last time I looked at one was probably 5-7 years ago, and I was not at all impressed.

Writing a will involves tax planning as well as inheritance planning. If you have any portion of your estate that could go to a minor, either now or in the future, you may also need to establish a trust.

Anyway, I get that people like avoiding us lawyers. And you can execute a will without a lawyer. But you should only do it if you actually know what you're doing. There are plenty of attorneys out there who will set up a good will for you for very little money.

(Disclaimer - I am an attorney but no longer handle wills)
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:42 PM
 
1,432 posts, read 1,491,153 times
Reputation: 1340
If you are a SECU member, they just started offering an Estate Planning Essentials Program. You can get your will, trusts, etc, set up for $250 a single or $350 for a couple. My wife and I have been putting this off and will probably check it out.

https://www.ncsecu.org/PDF/Grassroots/GR_0311.pdf
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,847 posts, read 2,112,285 times
Reputation: 1754
do it for free

go to this link,
https://www.suzeormanwillandtrust.com/giftcode

use gift code peoplefirst


continue etc etc
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:51 PM
 
83,978 posts, read 81,558,124 times
Reputation: 59855
be smart: DONT DO IT YOURSELF


oooh boy i can tell you horror stories about doing it on your own. with wills NOTHING IS A PROBLEM UNTIL YOU FIND OUT ITS A PROBLEM

as an example ,we had refinanced an inherited house once. well the will read "i leave my child beth my house "


the title company stopped the closing when they read the will. it didnt say "only child beth" the word only was missing.we had to Pay the banks lawyer,the title company and lost our interest rate we had because we needed affadavitts filled out by relatives she was an only child. then we had to pay everyone again and got a higher rate since they wouldnt hold it anymore.

we had a situation where a trust was constructed by a family member . the lawyer wasnt an estate attorney but a general practioner and they left out a sentance about predeceasing . the child died before the parents and the trust and will were deemed defective. estranged children from anothern marriage who were specifically written out of the will and family business by grandpa were now due a share of a family business because of a missing sentance in grandpas will and trust. it cost us 500,000 bucks in legal fees and to buy their share out . it was just an oversite in a very simple will and trust statement. one omitted sentance.

when we got married i did my own using will maker but wanted an attorney to read it and check it. no one would.

heres what i didnt know about using a will kit. every state has little protocols ,not laws which good estate lawyers follow.

we sat down with his witnesses present and the lawyer started to ask silly questions.

do we both know what a will is? what a trust is? are we on any medication? are we being pressured to sign this,etc.

all things in a 2nd marriage that are so important should any one contest the will were being asked and documented .. on my own i had no clue about this stuff,i thought the paper work was good enough. these documents are virtual mine fields when issues arise . things as simple as that refinance are bad enough to happen from details left out of wills.


there is so much that needs attention even in the simplest documents. like that missing word "only" i spoke of above.
do yourself a favor, see a specialist,its worth it in the end. there is no guarantee you wont have issues even if a pro does it but the chances should be alot less then you doing it on your own. at least when things go wrong you wont beat yourself up for being so foolish and attempting to do this with a canned document and none of the protocals.

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-10-2011 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:16 AM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
3 posts, read 6,637 times
Reputation: 10
Don't can me for advertising, because I am not.

BUT - My husband and I joined PrePaid Legal services for $16 a month and the first thing they sent us was a book to fill out with all of the necessary questions to create our will. Since then we have used the service when we needed it with great results. At least I can say it didn't cost anywhere near $200-$300 just for the will.

I do not know if the online Will templates are valid or not. But in my experience, after my husband was injured in a bad vehicle accident we wanted to make a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advanced Health Care Directive. Being the frugal souls we are, I found a Durable Power of Attorney template online and customized it to our needs. At the last minute I decided to have a lawyer review it to make sure it met the legal standards in our state and it didn't. Even if we had had it notarized and witnessed, it did not meet Missouri's legal standards. Next time I will save some trouble and either check out the state laws first or just have a lawyer do it.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:58 AM
 
83,978 posts, read 81,558,124 times
Reputation: 59855
you wouldnt attempt to give yourself a medical procedure and trying to skirt around getting a skilled lawyer can be the same thing.

you save a couple of bucks you think doing it yourself and when things are not exactly right its usually to late to fix.

there generally is no do-overs with problems in will and trust construction.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,339 posts, read 4,055,296 times
Reputation: 2658
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoneOfThis View Post
Forgive me if this is a simple, but I'm getting conflicting advice. I want to create a will that's legal and valid in NC. Some have told me that I simply need to pull up an internet model, adapt it, and have some folks witness it. Others say I need to go through a lawyer for the will to be valid.

We don't have a large estate, but we do want to make sure that our children are provided for, custody follows our wishes, etc. if something happens to us.

Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks!
To be on the safe side simply go to a legal office in your state that handles wills.

You can go to the internet and find some good advice. You can design your will using the legal language. However, you also need to find the requirements in your state so when you write it you comply with what they expect of you. After that I think you notarized. There are some good legal advice online you can go to too though. It takes longer to make a will on your own to ensure it is a good will. However, I did not want to take any chances and had it done by a legal office, take care.
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