Need to Write a Will.

Updated on January 16, 2008
J.B. asks from Saint Paul, MN
7 answers

Hello all. My husband and I have yet to write a will, mainly because we could not agree on what we would write. First we have three children, two that are mine from a previous relationship, and then our three year old son. So, we have his divorced parents, and my divorced parents, and three sister's between my husband and I. Did I mention that none of our family gets along. My parents hate each other, and my husband's family does not interact with my family. So, we have finally decided that we would like to have a close friend of ours become their guardian in the case something happens to us. She is single and wants children, but hasn't had any of her own and we know that she will carry out our wishes for our children. Now, I have my x who has been in and our of my other two children's lives, off and on with his child support and in the past 10 years has failed to be able to set up and stick with a visitation schedule. Currently he sees his children 1 weekend every 6 to 8 weeks. I need a lot of advice as to how to handle all of this. Does anyone have someone that they worked with on the writing of their will that they really liked? How much does this normally cost?

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answers from Minneapolis on

I am an attorney, although not a family law one. Unless your ex-husband has surrendered his parental rights or had them taken away by a court I don't think you can choose a guardian for your two older children if something should happen to you and he remains alive. You and your current husband can certainly choose a guardian for your child together and there are many compelling reasons for the two of you to have a will and address these issues head on. Good for you for looking into it-so many people choose to ignore it. You need an experienced family law attorney. Some of these issues might be more complex than a standard will so you might need to spend a little extra money. I would interview several attorneys to pick the one with whom you feel most comfortable and can meet your needs within your budget. Here are a couple of other names recommended by an attorney friend of mine: Karen Tarrant (Grand. Ave. St. Paul ###-###-####) and Tammy Gerten. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

try this guy his name id Robert Lawton ###-###-####- he specilizes in family law- I not sure what is would charge as I have not had him to write a will, however I know he does them. he has been prcticing for 31 years and does a lot of family law practice within the Ramsey cpunty courts setting. Tell him Gina referred you. Hope this works for you!

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answers from Minneapolis on

A simple will runs a few hundred dollars. Your situation is not simple, most importantly because you do not intend to place custody of your children with a family member-- something that is against the general rule of law. You will have to work hard to make that happen.

I went to law school with the attorneys at the following:
Evening & Weekend Law Offices
464 Hamline Ave S Saint Paul, MN 55105-2945

They are good guys and I understand their rates to be reasonable.

In my practice I have occassion to work with the following:
Peterson Fram & Bergman PA
55 5th St E Ste 800 Saint Paul, MN 55101-1718

They too are good guys. They have more gray hairs and probable charge more as a result.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We worked with a WONDERFUL attorney named Kimberly Gray for wills and guardianship. She comes to your house at your convenience and is very professional. Her rates are very good too. She will know all of the various issues related to guardianship. I can't say enough good things about her. Her number is ###-###-####.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Good for you to be thinking of protecting your assets (your children) even though you sound very busy!
You can go to a lawyer and it will be up to $300 or there are law services that will do it for around $100. I can recommend a lawyer if you're interested. He is in Butler Square in Mpls.
You should go with your intuition and not feel beholden to anyone or any family member.
Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Dear J.,

Sounds like you definitely need an attorney to help you work things out. I highly recommend Howard Helgen. His office is in Coon Rapids right off Highway 10. His number is ###-###-####. I would guess that an average will would cost between $300 and $500 to do -- approximately. But it is worth so much more. The peace of mind you will have and knowing that your wishes have been clearly stated -- it is sooooo very important. With your complex situation, I would not recommend trying to do it yourself or without an attorney who knows what they are doing.

I know Howard because I am also an attorney, and I worked with him on a part-time basis. I have two daughters myself and I am now working at a non-profit, but still work with Howard on some projects as time allows. He is a member and former president of our church, and truly one of the most honest and intelligent people I know.

I hope this is helpful to you. And good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I was told my ex would automatically get my daughter if I were to die. He has no relationship with my daughter anymore and pays child support and the last person on Earth I would want my daughter to go to but because he's the biological father he get's first dibs over anyone else and therefore I could not write a will and pick who I would want my daughter to go to. So keep that in mind.

I can still write up a will I just can't put who my daughter goes to. Sad but that's the way it is.

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