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Old 08-20-2019, 11:26 AM
 
182 posts, read 135,017 times
Reputation: 502

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We just don't seem to have the mojo to find a lawyer and pay $12000. for two wills so 'are thinking about doing one of the onine ones and then getting it witnessed afterwards.
Medical power of attorney's needed, too.



Is one easier or simpler to do than another? Its just my husband and myself we own everything jointly (house, car, etc) Assets under 500k. We are in our mid 70s.



Thanks very much for any guidance.
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,454 posts, read 3,793,626 times
Reputation: 4282
12,000 is too high. Will use to be very inexpensive. Not sure now but I think they still will.






If you have a trust you still need a will.
Why do you need a trust? Probably do not.
Add beneficiaries to all financial products. The beneficiary will get the asset no matter what the will says.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:29 PM
 
548 posts, read 325,223 times
Reputation: 2655
Just last night I got a price from a local small city lawyer for an uncomplicated will. $300 bucks

I don't know how big an estate you have or how complicated it is, but $12,000 is something like a movie star would pay or at least a businessman with a factory or some heavy duty assets.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,803 posts, read 48,203,048 times
Reputation: 111006
We paid our lawyer less than $1000.00 for our revocable trust and all that goes with it. OP did you make an error on the fee. If it was to be $1200.00 then that would be about right in todays market for the average Joe.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:44 AM
 
72,901 posts, read 72,721,455 times
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If anyone thinks getting these documents done right by a pro is expensive wait until you see what missing verbiage and defects in your state cost heirs...happened to us
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
3,544 posts, read 4,233,148 times
Reputation: 4769
WillMaker (from nolo.com) gets great reviews. They currently have a 50% off sale ($45 vs $90), through end of August 2019. Worst case, you spend $45 to learn you need to go to a lawyer to handle special needs/circumstances. OTOH, it could save you money, in that you save some of the lawyer's time going over the basics/initial questions.
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Old Yesterday, 07:27 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,807 posts, read 62,855,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianstad View Post
We just don't seem to have the mojo to find a lawyer and pay...
If you actually need a will, let alone a trust, you NEED a lawyer.
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 AM
 
72,901 posts, read 72,721,455 times
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With these documents you never learn you should go to an attorney.. it is always the heirs that learn that fact ..
Nothing is ever a problem with these documents, until it is a problem..then there are no do overs .

We hit two different issues , ..both were done by general practice attorneys using canned internet forms .

One was missing a word that was crucial such as the word ONLY ...when the will read I leave my house and possessions to my child Beth it omitted the word ONLY as in only child ...

That created havoc and expenses at refinancing...the other was a far more serious amateur error ...

The documents failed to contain provisions for the child predeceasing his parents .

When we needed an estate attorney we put him to task to see what he saw wrong ....immediately he saw the missing and defective verbiage
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Old Yesterday, 07:45 AM
 
5,505 posts, read 2,495,029 times
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Well, we just had our wills rewritten by an attorney working for a very expensive high end firm and the cost was $600.


No matter what, you need a will.


Most ordinary people do not need to set up trusts. A trust is not a substitute for a will, it's a supplement or a provision within a will.
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE
9 posts, read 2,071 times
Reputation: 25
If you live close to a law library (university or court), go there and ask to look thru some of the self-help probate manuals. Educate yourself regardless of whether or not you choose to hire an attorney. Trust were very much en vogue back in the 80's and 90's, mostly to avoid any potential issues with federal estate taxes. Unless you have an estate over 11.4 million, this is no longer an issue.



As for others that have mentioned hiring a "pro", I have numerous examples of "pros" totally screwing legal filings up, and examples of one charging for time they had obviously never spent, and padding bills excessively. Most people just don't know the average time it takes to fill in the blanks on "standard" or simple forms, or confront the attorney.



You can do your own if you educate yourself and you want just the basics. For personal property, most states let you create a list and then sign it. I'd suggest if you want someone to have something, put their name on a piece of tape underneath the item, or write it down. As for other things like bank accounts, IRA's, etc., you can name a beneficiary, or "transfer on death" and that's typically what you'd want to do to avoid those things going thru probate court. Vehicles can be jointly titled at the DMV.



As for real estate, you can avoid probate if your state (most states) allows for you to file a transfer on death deed with the register of deeds. After your death, the person or persons inheriting your property just take a copy of the death certificate to the register of deeds for the transfer.
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