Questions About Lawyers and Wills

Updated on January 02, 2009
M.B. asks from Ballwin, MO
4 answers

Hello. I just had some general questions before I call a lawyer and sound silly. My husband and I are planning a trip to Vegas and I have never flown before and pretty scared of it. The first thing I think of whenever I do anything is my kids. We dont have a will made and I heard if you havent appointed someone as guardians for your child they will be put in foster care until family memebers battle it out. Im not sure if thats even true but I definately want to get these things settled before we both fly together, yes I worry about everything! But I also was curious about how much these types of things cost. I know lawyers are very expensive. As you can see I know nothing about this. Any advice or warnings would be appreciated!

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answers from St. Joseph on

First I want to say kudos to you for thinking of doing this...most people your age (heck even at my age 37 wouldn't have done this). No one likes to think of the end but when it comes to our kids and their well being it's better than leaving them in uncertainity.

Having said that, I would certainly call around. Every lawyer has a different fee. I know my Dad put his estate in Trust for like $500 and that included updating his will. And when he moved to an Assisted Living facility and I needed legal work done to get permanent Power of Attorney it was like only $100. I can't say for ours because we're military and JAG did it free of charge for us.

But I WILL say you are right on for doing this. I've been on my BFF for years to do this b/c she has 3 kids and I know there would be tons of fighting over who would get her kids if something happened to them. We have ours mapped out and were very adament on telling our families exactly what we wanted and didn't want (so there were no surprises) and the couple we would leave our children with were given a copy of the will.

I think a lot of the cost involved will be how much time it will take to draw up the may want to look online or at the library for other ideas of what you might want to put in your will (bequethments, final burial wishes, etc.) because a lot of this are not things you think of on a daily basis...even who you would name as executor of the estate. Bottom line I got from JAG was the more you put in it the more it costs (although I don't know how they figured that because there was a heck of a lot of work for my dad's trust and it was pretty cheap in my book).

BTW- you can also call the State Bar Association and ask for recommendations for lawyers specializing in wills and estates in your area. They don't rank them by any means but they will give you at least 3 solid recommendations that you could call about. I would also have hubby ask around work or ask some folks in your church if they have any recommendations...these sorts of things are always best by word of mouth. Good luck and have a great trip!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Molly, I think you should get a will done! If you are in the St. Louis area I know of a great one. He charges about $250/hour but he does all he can to make sure you are covered. Is really helpful and won't try to talk you into more than you need. He even goes to my grandparents' house to do their stuff so they don't have to try and drive and dosen't charge them extra. But you do need to appoint someone. But even appointing someone does not guarntee that they will keep the kids. They will have to be approved by the courts if anything does happen. But the courts do usually lean towards who you choose. But Willaim (Bill) Hollander in St. Louis is a great guy.

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answers from Kansas City on

I recently unexpectedly lost a cousin at age 37. We did our will as a result. The cost was $500.
I think it is worth it to do now and update over the years as needed. You never know when you will need it!

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answers from Kansas City on

Molly, I forgot to tell you this but a co-worker of mine had once told me that UMKC law school can legally prepare a wills for people and uses it as part of their program. I never looked into it myself. I think she told me it was free, but half the time I don't know what to believe when she tells me things:). It's worth at least looking into.

1 mom found this helpful
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