Looking for Cheap Will

Updated on October 22, 2008
J.S. asks from Raleigh, NC
25 answers

We just had our first baby and trying to figure out about writing a "Will". We have heard we can have a lawyer write one up for about $700, but all we really want is to state who our child goes to if we both die. Sounds so morbid, but we want to plan just in case too. Any ideas?

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

How about Suzi Ormans kit. I think it is about 15 bucks and has everything you could ever need. Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.V.

answers from Dallas on

Try Legalzoom.com this is a legal cite that helps with things like wills, by the way I too am an older first time mommy and love every thing about it. I am also a single mom, doing double duty!!! I have thought the same thing about where would and who would my baby go to if I am to pass on it is very normal thinking.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have a good friend who sells a service called PrePaid Legal. One of the things that they offer with this service is a free will. I have this service and it is well worth the $26 a month. Call Kristen Scott at ###-###-#### and she can explain everything to you.

Cheers,
M. D.
WineShop At Home
###-###-####

"Bringing the Wine Country to You!"

More Answers

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I realize $700 is a lot of money, but your child (via the Executor) will end up paying a lot more than that if there is a dispute of any sort in probate court because you failed to properly execute the documents you prepared yourself using an online source or because the will did not include a self-proving affidavit, which is authorized in Texas, to keep the probate costs down by allowing "independent administration." Without it, the will has to undergo "dependent administration" which means the Executor has to get approval from the judge for a lot more actions than if he or she is allowed to execute your wishes independently.

I am a lawyer and I'm just trying to save your child from unnecessary trauma if the unspeakable should happen, or for either you or your husband should one of you end up in an accident and you don't have all the necessary documents in place for the survivor. That's what wills and other estate planning documents are really for--so the survivors can do what YOU would have wanted them to do, rather than let the judge decide for you.

If there are children from a previous marriage involved on either side, you must really, really, really not let the intestate laws take effect.

The Executor has a different role than the Guardian, although the same person can serve in both roles.

Maria K.'s response was sound and brought up various other important issues regarding life insurance proceeds, trust for a minor, etc.

If you're single and have no children, then online will drafting could be the way to go. Once children are involved, you need to see a lawyer.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

Mu husband and I did ours on USLegalForms.com. If you use the link from DaveRamsey.com you get a discount on the will. I looked into having a lawyer do it and it was in the hundredS of dollar range. Good luck, and good planning =)

**USLegalForms is state specific, so all of the laws do apply in Texas. I forgot to mention that, sorry.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.

answers from Dallas on

Actually, our legislature has designed a statutory form for use in designating a guardian, so that you can prepare that without an attorney. It's not a will; it's just a declaration of guardian. You can find that form for FREE along with a number of other important estate planning documents (free) at www.texasprobate.com. I generally advise against using form wills obtained on the internet; many times those are not state specific and fail to provide for independent (cheap) administration without bond and other Texas specific features. Additionally, without the help of a lawyer, people make mistakes that cost their heirs a lot of money later. Besides, in Texas you can write out your own will - all in your own handwriting - by yourself and it will be recognized. So if you are not going to hire an attorney and do it right, you may as well not spend any money at all and just write out a will by hand. Anyway, you will find a lot of good info at www.texasprobate.com, including a downloadable doc called "Declaration of Appointment of Guardian for my Children..."

1 mom found this helpful
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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

Highly recommend Nick Nuspl. His number is ###-###-####. His office is in Allen. He is significantly less expensive than that. There are other things you need to do in addition to who your child's guardian will be. You also need a medical directive that provides instructions to your doctor in the event you are seriously hurt/ill. You will also need to identify "who can pull the plug" and what your wishes are about that. A power of attorney lets you decide who can handle your financial affairs in the event you can't make them. This is a big deal if you and your husband are both hurt. Last thing -- you need to set up a trust for your child that could accept the proceeds of life insurance. An insurance company can't write a check to a minor. If there isn't a trust, the judge will decide which you may or may not like. All of this is typically covered in the cost of your will. Nick can help you with all of this. I would NOT recommend doing this with the "do it yourself" forms on the internet. Those aren't good for dealing with children.

It would be a good idea to get some inexpensive term life insurance so the guardian of your child would have enough money to properly provide for your child over the years. If you are interested in that, please call me at ###-###-####. Great job of thinking through these things ahead of time!

1 mom found this helpful

D.H.

answers from Dallas on

I also recommend www.uslegalforms.com. You can go to http://www.uslegalforms.com/dave/ to get a discounted will and living will for $29. We are following the Dave Ramsey financial plan (and on Baby Step #4 - yeah!) and got our will, living will, and power of attorny through uslegalforms.com. It was easy to fill out and totally worth the money!
Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!
D.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

Kudos to you for planning ahead!!! My husband is an estate planning attorney. Wills and trusts are he does all day long. He is always surprised at the number of people who don't plan for the inevitable. In this business he says that you get what you pay for. Yes, there are standard documents (you can find them at an office supply store along with standard form rental agreements) that you can get for $20, fill in the blanks and have notarized with a notary public (there's always one at the post office). These forms are fine if everything in your life is straightforward, black & white, no complicated assets, no premarital assets, seperate savings or checking account, etc. Keep the original in a fireproof safe, give copies to differnet friends & relatives for safe keeping.

However, if there are children from a previous marriage, a premarital agreement, assets or savings in seperate account, heaven forbid a future death of one spouse, divorce or seperation, then you may want to contact one of the Family Lawyers listed on the Mamasource web site.

And yes, $700 is an entirely reasonable fee for this type of transaction.

Best wishes to you and your growing family!

1 mom found this helpful
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T.

answers from Dallas on

There is a website called uslegalforms.com that is endorsed by Dave Ramsey (daveramsey.com) where you can get a will done pretty cheap. Since yours doesn't sound complicated that would be a good solution for you.

Good luck.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

If you have a very straight-forward situation then the online stuff might be fine. But, if you anticipate any contention in your family, I would talk to a lawyer. It should not cost that much - that's likely folks with really complex cases or higher net values (e.g, past inheritances), past divorces and new families (e.g., both step and biological kids), etc.

You can call around and find out how much they will charge. Since, I wanted my kids to go to my one brother and not to ANYONE in my husband's family and I wanted the money to go into a trust (my family isn't always judicious about how money is spent) we felt it important to go to a lawyer. And, I would do so again just for the peace of mind. Also, if you're selecting an executor that is not a family member that might be very contentious.

This isn't morbid, it's really important - kids do become orphans and unless you have the guardianship specified, they could end up with CPS until a family member is found. IMHO, that is the worst thing that could happen to your children, so it's one of the most important things for us as parents to do and you are smart to be doing this now. Also, make sure the will is written to include all children - that's very important.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

You can buy software for your computer (will maker) for about $50....It will be perfectly fine for what you need.... Just get it notorized and put it in a safe place. Send a copy to the person you want to have your child.

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C.W.

answers from Dallas on

I have a fabulous source to get that done! We have a membership that includes a full will. Here is a contact to get the information: [email protected]____.com. Phone is ###-###-####.

K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi JS,

Looks like you have gotten a pretty stong response to your question. I for one would not get my will done on line, or do it myself. I am not an attorney, and I certainly don't want the State of Texas to determing ANYTHING that has to do with my childs bests interests. I too, just like you decided that our family needed a will when my little one was born, so I decided to have an attorney that specialized in this field do it for us. This guy is down to earth, not your typical lawyer type....REALLY! He did a great job of covering all of the bases, to insure that we were all taken care of....especially my little angel! His name is Andrew Hawkins with Graves Hawkins LLP. His number is ###-###-####. If you decide to call him tell him K. Moon sent you and said hello! He has a son that is about 3 or 4 & another one on the way, so he knows exactly how parents feel about protecting our pecious ones.

Hope this helps!

Blessings

K.

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D.K.

answers from Dallas on

You actually need more than that to provide for your child. You need to provide a trust and/or a trustee for the money and property you leave behind until your child is 18. You need to provide a designation of guardian in the will which is what you are talking about (who will take care of your child) and a designation of guardian of your child's estate (the money and property that doesn't go into the trust). It gets a little complicated. Why don't you call some attorneys near your home and ask if they do a free consultation. If they do, they will take an hour and explain to you and your husband what needs to be done to protect your child.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

legacywriter.com will give you all the same documents and information as an attorney for about $20 you just go through the wizard... answer the questions.. and the rest is easy. print it out.. and have it notarized.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Suze Orman's Will & Trust Kit www.suzeorman.com It will do the will, revocable trust, advanced directive and durable power of attorney for health care and financial power of attorney and you will receive free automatic updates so your documents will always be current. Your will can specify who you want for the guardian of your child and how the money for your child is to be handled. I have found this kit to be very thorough. We had wills drawn up when our children were very young and the Suze Orman Will and Trust Kit does the exact same thing as the wills drawn up by our attorney.

Congratulations in making your decision to get a will in place for the protection of your child.

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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

We did our will using a software CD from Best Buy called Quicken LawMaker. I think it cost $50.00. Definately don't waste hundreds of dollars on a lawyer if you don't have more than one house, or millions of dollars you want to spread out among different people.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

Legalzoom.com- Your will is written for you by simply completing some questions. Very easy, user-friendly, and quick for about $75 for one. There is a special price for husband/wife wills. There is also room for you to spell out any special requests.

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

Type up your desires, have it notarized, and placed in a safe deposit box.

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on

I'm an attorney licensed to practice in TX. If you haven't found someone to handle your will, please give me a call.
Best regards,
L.
###-###-####

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H.T.

answers from Dallas on

No No No $700 is to much call Tom Jester he does individual wills for $300. With him it is not "you get what you pay for" he is a good honest Christian that does not take advantage of people just b/c he is an attorney. He has been a Judge and Mayor so that speaks for itself. If you AND your husband want one it is $300 a piece. His office # is ###-###-####

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

I recommend FamilyLawyer2008, http://support.broderbund.com/fix.asp?isid=44860&prog....

It's inexpensive and thorough. It also includes other templates like power of attorney and medical power of attorney and living will.

Best wishes!

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

you can pick up a do it yourself will, fill it in and have it notarized

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

If you will get Pre-Paid Legal Services they will provide you with a will for no extra charge. You don't have to sign a contract. I've had their services for years and they are great. The cost is only $25 a month with a top notch law firm here in Texas. Please call me and I'll explain how they work. T. O'Connor 214 - ###-###-####.

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