Making a Will

Updated on April 12, 2008
A.D. asks from South Bend, IN
28 answers

Hi Moms.
Now that we have a child, my husband & I would like to make a Will just in case anything ever happened to the 2 of us, our son would be taken care of. I really have no idea how to go about the process & would be thankful for any tips or advice you may have. Or if you know of a good website, that would be helpful as well. Thank you!

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M.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

There is a lot of good information on the net and many books on the subject. I find it most helpful to look at several books as not 1 book has it all. The other thing is to see the difference between a will and a living trust. One costs the family a lot more money after you are gone due to legal fees.
Good Luck!!

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K.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi, A.! You are on-the-ball to get this taken care of soon. My dad is an attorney and this is his speciality. He has assisted my friends with their wills when they started having kids. He walks you through the entire process. He makes it easy. Please find below his contact information:

Bill Dale
Dale and Eke
###-###-####

They are located at Keystone at the Crossing. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else.

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J.N.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi A.,
You can go to the library and get books on how to make a simple will. If you have a lot of legalities, I would contact an attorney.

J. N

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C.G.

answers from Columbus on

You get what you pay for so hire an attorney if you want true peace of mind. I am a paralegal student and just took a probate class and learned what can go wrong with do it yourself kits and that would not give me the secure feeling that things will be truely taken care of if something happened to my husband and I.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.S.

answers from Columbus on

I am a local attorney and mamasource member. If you would like some general advice you can check out my website www.eschmitzlaw.com.

I would be very careful about do it yourself packages. As to the former post who had a will that was notarized. That is probably not sufficient under Ohio law which requires 2 independent witnesses.

Do if yourself wills can be ok if you have a typcial situation but very few people have typical situations and I a lot can go wrong if you do not know what you are doing. Probate litigation is a growing area of law because people are using do it yourself kits. Just like anything you get what you pay for.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Dayton on

Please look into legalzoom.com
This can save you money, and they have a 100% money-back guarantee.

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K.P.

answers from Cleveland on

I suggest you consult a lawyer. Maybe speak to some of your friends or parents, aunts or uncles who may have already done some estate planning and ask who they used and if they were happy with the service/product they received. Not only should you provide for your child, but it is a good idea to discuss other estate planning related documents such as Powers of Attorney (financial and health care). And, if do not wish to have your child receive his/her inheritance at age 21 (as with a Will), you may find the use of a Trust beneficial as you can choose the age(s) of distributions. Also, if your net worth is over certain amounts, a Trust could benefit you with tax savings and/or tax deferal.

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R.P.

answers from Youngstown on

check with any benefits your hubby has at work - my husbands job paid for us to use their lawywer to set up a will and type it up and go over it with us - we need to update it - I'm pretty sure that is included, too.

check it out at the library or search (I like altavista.com - the advanced search option) type in will and how to or whatever other words you think would help narrow down the search.

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C.C.

answers from Toledo on

Hi A.,
I am glad to see you thinking ahead! I am also an attorney in the Toledo, Ohio area. I am a mother of 3 children and work out of my home. If you were interested, I would speak with you about drafting a will package for yourself and one for your husband. The package I put together includes all the important documents that you and your family would ideally need to have in place: a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will, a Power of Attorney, and a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. I also review your life insurance situation to ensure that you are covered properly and review your Deed to your home to ensure that it is the proper deed for your family situation. Let me know, and goodluck to you and your family!
C.

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C.B.

answers from Columbus on

Hi A.,

My husband and I created our will off a website called www.uslegalforms.com. They have wills that are set up state specific so you can just select your state and they'll give you the appropriate forms for your state. It was fairly inexpensive to do, was very user friendly, and from what I can remember covered alot of the "what if's." Now, I will caution that if you and your husband have alot of assets then you should probably go through a lawyer because this is a pretty basic will. My husband and I don't have that much yet so this worked great for us. We just took it to our local bank and had it signed by 2 non-family witnesses and had it notarized. Good luck!

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L.

answers from Columbus on

I think that it is wonderful that you are taking everything into consideration. I did have one recommendation, it will cost you more than your standard will, but it could make a huge difference if something ever did happen to you. I would recommend you meet with an attorney that prepares trusts. In the event that both you and your husband would perish, a will (your estate) could be held up in probate courts for (on avg. 1 yr.). This could mean that your child could be placed in a foster care situation until a court rules on it. With the use of a trust, the moment that you two has persihed (or whatever point deemed in the trust) your child would go directly to the person(s) you declared in the trust. The same with the estate (house, cars, money, etc). I hope this is not confusing. If you are local (columbus, ohio area) I may be able to refer you to an attorney that could be helpful.

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A.S.

answers from Kokomo on

Hi A.,

Your decision to make a will is a great one! From the second my child was born I was worried what would happen to her if something happed to us! Okay, as a mother, I am sure that you have very little spare time to sit down with a lawyer to make a will right now (if so, thats great and the best way to go). But, I do not have that kind of time right now, so I went to this website called Legacywriter.com and made up a legal document on my own. It is just a basic document that lists out who you would like to take care of your child (children). It also has a spot where you can will your assets. Its nothing fancy, but its a LEGAL document and its CHEAP. You don't even have to have it notorized if you don't want to, to make it legal. I definitely feel alot better now that I have purchased this document. I think it was only around $25. Good Luck!!

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J.T.

answers from Columbus on

We purchased a "do it yourself" kit at Staples for about $7. It allowed us to list guardians for the children and also a place for us to list anything special to leave (i.e., my jewelry goes to my daughter, etc.). It was notorized when we were finished. A friend gave me good advice to make a copy and give to someone I trust who isn't family, in case our copy isn't found easily if needed. I gave a copy to my boss/good friend to put in her safe and put the original in our fire-proof box/safe. Maybe the attorney who previously responded has advice if this is an acceptable will. I believe our family will follow our wishes since we put them on paper. Definitely better than spending hundreds of dollars. But, it was very simple...if you have lots of property, etc. to leave it may not be sufficient to use this DIY kit.

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N.C.

answers from Dayton on

A.,
Try legalzoom.com. You could get a lawyer, but that could get expensive. If you make up the documents you should be able to file them at your local courhouse for next to nothing.
Good Luck
N.

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M.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

In my opinion, if you are wanting legal advice on how to best divide assets and responsibilities in the event of your death, then spend the money and hire a lawyer.

This is a big deal - why wouldn't you want expert advice?

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S.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi. When my son was two weeks old we went to an attorney to draw up a will. Our cost to do this was around $250. But we also have named several people as guaradians. ...My father is named first. If he's deceased, then my son will go to my brother-in-law and his family. The attorney said if we had just one person listed, the cost would have been $75.

My suggestion would be to call around to local attorneys to see what their fees are.

Hope this helps.

S.

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M.S.

answers from Dayton on

Hi A.,

Congrats on your little boy. I have looked into this and the best thing to do is to hire an attorney to draw it up for you. You can make all the decisions, but they are the ones that have to do it. A family law attorney would be best.

Hope this helps!
L.

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M.A.

answers from Cincinnati on

My husband and I went to Best Buy and bought a copy of Will Writer. It was really simple to follow, and we were able to print out our wills pretty quickly. After everything is signed and notarized, you're set.

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B.M.

answers from Evansville on

I have three young children now and I one of my goals for this year is to get a will drawn up too. I was told that my lawyer can do it for about $1000. You can buy one at a stationary store. I think it is called a will kit. I just want to make sure mine is official so I will be letting my lawyer do it for me.

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S.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hello, A.!
You have a couple of choices:
1. You can hire an attorney to draft the wills for you.
or
2. You can purchase a program such as Quicken WillMaker Plus, and it is very simple. You will need to have the documents notarized, but the program is extremely user-friendly, and you can do all types of estate planning documents with it, as long as they are simple.
If you have a complex situation, then you may want to consult an attorney.
I hope this helps.
S.

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A.K.

answers from Cincinnati on

A.-
It's a great idea to make a will. I am a local attorney (and Mamasource mom) and can help you draft a will for your growing family. Give me a call. I can give you a quote on how much i charge if you're looking to have an attorney help you with this, or I can point you in the direction of a few "do-it-yourself" websites. My office number is ###-###-####. I will be in the office Monday morning.
-A.

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D.H.

answers from Canton on

Hire a good lawyer. Make sure to provide instructions for all possibilities. Who would raise your children, would you have someone oversee how they spend your children's money, what would happen if you and your first choice guardians died at the same time, what happens if you and your husband are in an accident and one of you outlives the other by a few days, what if you are in an accident and live, but are unable to care for your children.(ie:vegetative state) Your will wouldn't go into effect because you are alive, but your children still would need a guardian. When would you want your children to inherit? Prepare for all scenerios and then pray they never happen. Good luck.

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J.K.

answers from Columbus on

Hi A., I know someone that would beable to help you. My brother is a lawyer and does wills. I am 36 and a mother of a 2 1/2 and 8 month old and my husband and I were wanting to do the same thing especially since my husband is a pilot. Here is his information if you would like to contact him with questions: Kevin McDougall ###-###-####
email [email protected]____.com
website www.mcdougall-law.com
I hope this helps you out! Jennifer

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K.C.

answers from Mansfield on

I would suggest you contact an attorney. Most will prepare the Wills for you for a cost of about $50-$100 each. Not a lot of money when you are considering the future of your child. Hope this helps.

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C.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

First thing talk with family and friends. Find out who you would like to raise him if something happened to both of you. Make sure they agree. Then find a good lawyer. Most will do a free consult. Also perfect time to set up a trust fund so who ever would raise him would have extra funds for his care or that would be available for him when he grows up.

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R.N.

answers from Cincinnati on

I just bought the will making software/book from NOLO. I did alot of research on it and it was rated highly. I bought mine from Amazon.com for a decent price. Hope this helps you!

R.

A.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

We went to walmart & bought a program for legal docs. It had a will in there. It's got all the legal verbage in it you need. You just fill in the blanks & get it notarized. It was pretty cheap (don't remember but less than $30 I think). I felt a LOT better knowing my husband and I got our wills done. Same situation. Never had a will before. Had a baby and I couldn't get it done fast enough. Good luck!

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S.T.

answers from Youngstown on

if u dont go to any at let talk to the person or people u want to leave your child with and wright it down and sign they would take that as your las wishes me in my husband or taking bout the same thing and getting life insurance for the whole family

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