Do You Have a Written Will?

Updated on April 20, 2011
N.M. asks from Bell, CA
26 answers

I don't, but am thinking of getting one this year. How many have their family Wills written up?

What about a Living Will? (A living Will is written up for medical issues. Like if you are in an accident and proclaimed brain dead, your family would not have to be burdened with the decision of taking you off life support.)

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

I'm sure everyone agrees on the importance of having a written Will. We put it on our "To Do " list but it always seems to slip through the list of priorities. Especially if we are healthy and have a living spounce. But things can happen in an instant, especially when we are the least prepared. That's why I made a new years resolution to get mine done this year. Especially a Living will. My dad got one after my mom died of a stroke. She was on life support for over a month... brain dead. My dad had to make that heart wrenching decision of taking her off life support, so he made his living will right there in the hospital. He didn't want my brother to go through the same thing if something happened to him.

Lets all make a promise that we will get our Wills done by the end of the year ladies!!!

Featured Answers


answers from Cleveland on

Ya know, I'm actually looking forward to peoples responses on this.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
I don't have one.
I have two kids now, and the thought keeps popping in my head on when to do it and all that.
Thanks for asking this!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Odessa on

Yes to both. We talked about it forever and when we started the process to adopt baby #2 we finally went and did it. It cost about $300 for everything. Definately have more peace of mind after it was done. Not the funnest thing to think about, but is something that needs to be done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I used Willmaker (from Quicken) to do mine. Relatively easy. I later had a lawyer look at it when I was taking care of something else and he said it all looked fine. $30-40. Has the will, financial powers of attorney, health care directive, including a living will and health care power of attorney, and
executor's documents. Better to do that than to keep putting it off!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Yes to both! So, so important!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

I had a will done when my son was a year old. Being a single parent it was important to my peace of mind that his caretakers were outlined. I did talk to the caretakers and ensure that they would be willing to take him in the event of my death. Hmmm, here it is 14 years later, I may want to review it and update.

I have not executed a living will yet - but, thanks to your question :) I think I will look into that also.

I also purchased free standing life insurance last year instead of relying on life insurance attached through by jobs.

I think planning for our children's future without us, is really important.

God Bless

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

absoulutely. NOT having one is one of the MOST irresponsible things you can do as a parent. You cannot assume anything when it comes to who your children will go to or how they will be taken care of or how your estate is distributed. Not having a will can possibly make an already terrible situation for your child worse. Please make your wills out people. It is not a difficult thing to do.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsfield on

No, it's one of those things we keep meaning to do, but keep forgetting about. Thanks for bringing it up though. I'm going to put it on my priority list for sure. I'm thinking about going through LegalZoom. It's only $69 for a basic will and $79 for a comprehensive one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Written, living, and Power of Attourney. Yes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

No, I haven't, and yes, I REALLY need to! Thanks for the reminder!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My husband and I both have wills and living wills. It was an absolute must for us when we started trying to conceive. We've both watched too many horror shows play out with family members battling over assets when there HAS been a will to ever not have a will. As for the living wills, we set them up and also discussed our wishes with each other and all other close family members so that everyone can be on the same page in case disaster strikes.


answers from Iowa City on

Yes we have our wills (with trust), medical directives and medical powers of attorney.


answers from Los Angeles on

I have a living and written will. I have close to nothing, but it says where I would want our baby to go and what to do with our stuff. I plan on updating it yearly so it is accurate and such. My mother's mother passed away, so my mother and her brothers had to go through all of her stuff and decide what to do with the stuff not in her will. It was horribly emotional and really hard on all of them. I don't want that for when I pass, whenever that may be.



answers from Eugene on

Yes, I did this. My brother died suddenly in his 30's without one. It left a mess for my sister-in-law who spent years sorting things out.

I redid everything after my divorce: living trust, will, power of atty. I wanted to make sure that my ex wasn't the one deciding when to pull the plug if I was in a coma!



answers from New York on

You must get a will prepared. You must get life insurance. We got a will after spending a few hours at my SIL's filthy house and my husband urged me to NEVER allow his sister to babysit our kids while we were still in the car driving home. (I had been thinking the same thing but didn't want to hurt my DH's feelings.)

We began to think about who we wanted to care for our kids in the event of our deaths. As we began to discuss it we realized that since I have a sister who practices certain religious beliefs that we are very opposed to we didn't want her raising our kids either. (No grief please - we are not in her face and don't say a word to her about her beliefs - she can believe anything she wants as along as she doesn't impose on my young impressionable kids.)

We settled on two siblings and their spouses as the ones we'd like to raise our kids. But we also recognized that either sibling could be in a difficult family situation - sick spouse, job loss, etc. But we know that both of these people are very reasonble people who would put our kids first and would do what's best. I could also completely trust them with our finances for the kids too.

To me - that's the biggest reason to get a will set up when the kids are young. And - if there's a divorce and if the ex-spouse is remarried then you must have a will so you determine who will control your assets for your kids.

It's so worth the few hundred dollars.


answers from Dallas on

Yes. We have a written will, a living will, and a power of attorney.



answers from St. Louis on

I have one done, but my boyfriend does not. I got it completed once I found out I was pregnant. I don't have a lot to "hand down" but I did it more so because me and boyfriend are not married so I wanted to make sure there was no arguing over who was going to get the baby if something happened to me (I didn't want my family coming in and trying to take him from his dad, not that I think it would happen, but you never know). I also wanted to make sure that my son got what he needed, but my boyfriend is not the best with finances, so I made my mom the executor of my estate to deal out all the money and assets in my name as she deems appropriate for my son. It'll be hard for me to pick someone if/when she is unable to do this for me as I'm an only child. But, ultimately, my son gets everything that's left over after my debt and such is paid, which at this moment isn't a lot. However, I'm looking to get a house and such soon and start building my assets once my current credit is paid off. I've actually talked with my mom about where and how I would want the money to be distributed as my assets build. Eventually, I'll probably write this down more specifically and attach it to the current will as an addendum. Mainly now, though, it's just used for custody purposes in case something happens. I'm trying to get my boyfriend to write one so that we have agreeing documents in case something happens to both of us, however, he's more stubborn with this.

I also got a living will and a power of attorney at the same time. I was like you and didn't want my family to have difficulty or guilt in deciding what to do if I was in that situation.



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, and access to Legal assistance 24 hours a day for less than $30 a month. My friends hooked me up. It is wonderful knowing that I have "a lawyer" on call.


answers from Seattle on

I am going to live forever, so I haven't even thought about it! lol
I think I am like many other people that think, hmmm...I should really do that, and then life happens and I forget.
I am more worried about what will happen if my husband and I die and where my kids would go.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N., my husband and I just finished processing our will and an estate/trust for our daughter. I would recommend it because the attorney we are working with came up with some great questions for us and scenarios we didn't even think of, and we thought we were totally prepared. Basically all of our money is now tied into an estate, and if anything ever happens to us, our daughter is taken care of and we even have it set up so she has to graduate college to get part of her inheritance. Plus, it covers scenarios like what if the people we've selected to take care of her can't, and we will avoid a lot of the estate taxes that you are forced to pay without a will (because your assets go through probate and so does child custody which could take months or years). Anyway, it's a bit pricey but if you have children or investments I would highly recommend it.



answers from Salt Lake City on

This has been a cloud over my head for 10 years. I finally sat down w/ an attorney last month and these are being drafted. He said the most typical statement from his clients is, "it feels so good to get that crossed off my list." That's exactly what I'm going to say. Do it!

[We opted for a professional atty, but I considered using Quicken Wills. You might want to consider that route too.]



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.-
I work for an Attorney and this is what I do know, if you own any real esate, it is better to have a trust package (which usually include Trust, Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Healthcare documents.) If you own real esate with no trust, surviving family will have to go thru probate. If you have no real estate and no Will you will have to go thru probate. If you get in a car accident and do not have anyone assigned as Power of Attorney, someone may have to hire an attorney and appear in front of a judge to get the authority to pay your bills until you recover. As well for healthcare power of attorney and living will.... if you have children who are minors, to get guardianship... There is alot to think about! Goog Luck with getting this taken care of!!



answers from Louisville on

Do have a will - but it needs to be updated since kids are now grown! Don't think will need a guardian now!


answers from Chicago on

We have our wills done (we drafted as we are attorneys). No living wills -- we know each other's positions on life support and trust each other to respect them. My parents, however, didn't have wills until my sister and I were GROWN -- they could never agree on permanent guardians for us kids....thank goodness nothing happened to then when we were minors :)



answers from Reno on

Yes we have a will and a living will, but are now changing to a living trust. A will still has to go thru probate, with lawyers getting a large chunk of your assets. A trust is just done and over with, no lawyers involved. Please check out wills vs trusts, you just might make a better choice.


answers from St. Louis on

I have a will, health care directive (I think that is what everyone is calling a living will), a revocable living trust, and durable power of attorney. I also know that they are worth the paper they are written on since they were drawn up by an attorney practicing trusts. I don’t think people realize that using an attorney who doesn’t specialize is the same as using a foot doctor for heart surgery. Yeah they may get the job done but will it work.
Having something is better than nothing so if you don’t have the money go with the will in a box. Still around a thousand dollars is worth the peace of mind that it will actually stand up in court. One of my coworkers is fighting for custody of her nephew because his father used a will in a box and it is being contested. At the moment the child is a ward of the state. Not the outcome I want for any of my children.

Why is it every time I see will on this site it looks like Wii to me? *makes note to cut back the kids video game usage*



answers from Seattle on

Yup. Every time I travel w/out my son, my mum makes it a condition of her watching him that I update my will. Yay! I'm going to ______ so it's time to think about dying and never seeing my child again, yay! Um... ugh. Not.

But I've got them all on file.

She also gets limited power of attorney (medical) in the event that I'm on permanent walkabout. As my closest Next of Kin WITH medical training, I trust her the most with it. Ditto, she's my executor. Even if I die alone, she'll oversee the insurance money that gets put into trust for my son. As a homeschooler, I have a significant policy... since I want him to be able to finish out school in a very pricey private school. My life insurance policy splits the following way:

- Enough to my husband that he doesn't have to work for a year, ig he so chose
- Enough for my son (pt1) to pay for 10 years of private education and 4 years at a good college
- To my son (pt2) starting capital upon graduation of college or age 26 to be kept in trust
- Portions to my parents, sibs, and best friend
- Executor fees & yearly stipend for overseeing the account

((In the event of both my husband's and my deaths the numbers change around a trifle... the house is to be paid off in entirety and held in trust for my son, and there is a yearly addition for his guardian for his care and uptake *in addition* to the money held in trust for his ongoing education, majority. It ensures that no matter the financial position of his guardians he'll be well cared for. Of course, that brings my husband's policy into play, so there's more money to distribute.))

I DO NOT have a living will. I've discussed it at length, and decided the power of attorney was a better way to go *in my specific case*. We have too many med professionals (and lawyers) in my family who would tie things up for YEARS if the letter of my living will didn't match my exact case. 'Minimal Brain Function' is a tricky thing, and there is no way I could write out every single case. I trust my mother to make the right decision, whole heartedly.

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