Thursday, February 24, 2011

when and how to will

Gentle Reader, do you have a will? Not to be morbid or anything, but Brad and I have talked about getting wills since we married, nearly nine years ago, but we still haven't done it yet. The urgency just wasn't there in the early years of our marriage when we had no financial or material assets other than our wedding gifts and were solely focused on paying off debt. But now obtaining wills feels more pressing and I've decided that we must mark this task off our list in 2011. (Is it too late to revise my 2011 goals?)

So, where do we start? Those online programs and advertisements for "free wills" make me nervous. I'd rather just pay the $1,000 (or more?) to hire a lawyer and do it right the first time. But, I've never hired a lawyer in my life. I don't even know how to hire a lawyer or where to find the right type of lawyer to make a will. Suggestions? Does anyone know a good lawyer in the DC area who can help us with this task?

I appreciate all suggestions and advice, and I'll post again on this topic after we make some progress, just in case anyone else is in the same boat.

7 comments:

lnipaver said...

we just did life insurance and the will is next on the list. So I will be interested to hear what you find out.:)

Organized Living by Amy said...

The will is also on our list. I've started and just haven't finished. After speaking with our financial planner, he recommended legal zoom or a similar service. He said they are perfectly fine. I was also confused about whether to do a living trust instead, and again the fp recommend a will only, but to consider a living will if you had any medical wishes. good luck.

Amy said...

We just updated our life insurance and still have wills on our list to do. My father in law says he has a computer program that walks you through the proces step by step. We need to get down to his house to use his program sometime. I wonder if you can find something like that at a computer store?? I'm, not sure the name of his program but can check it out when we finally get down to use it!

Stephanie Szymanowski said...

We just did our life insurance and are doing our wills before leaving for Italy in May. They are important to have for just about anyone. I don't know much about the computer programs. My dad is an attorney who exclusively does estate planning. He is in Florida but could probably do one for you if you need it! He is doing one for our friends in NC! They aren't as overwhelming as you first think.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Ask friends with kids. If they don't have a will before babies, most people get one right after. I would think a reference would be the easiest way to go.

Jennifer said...

We did ours a few years ago, and it was fairly painless. I think we spent about an hour in the lawyer's office. We used someone in Reston. I can get you the information if you're interested, but I'm guessing you are looking for someone closer to DC.

ASP said...

We are getting ready to go in and sign our wills this week. It's pretty pain free. We've been going over the final stuff for about 3 weeks now. Just looking and re-looking over stuff. Mainly you just need to know things like power of attorney, who you want to get what, etc. Our attorney sent us a standard will that we looked over and filled in our questions, people we wanted named and how we wanted them to proceed with our possessions. It also named O's legal guardians and how her trust would work. We were more comfortable using an attorney to set something up versus the kit type wills. You can probably do a goog.le search in your area or just talk to coworkers to see who they've used (someone suggested people with kids, which is a great idea also). You really should do it, it makes things much, much easier for those dealing with your stuff after, God forbid any time soon, your death. Hope that helps!