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it is easy to create a will with step by step guidance...and for a small amount more, you get person to person legal advise too
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Reply to Katiekate
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I don't intend to challenge, criticiae  or undercut Katie's advice, but I'd like to share a different viewpoint.   I've always felt strongly that ONLY practicing attorneys who you research, check out and have confidence in should handle preparation of any legal documentation.

There are some good attorneys who focus specifically on moderately priced wills, while others work in tandem as necessary with other estate planning attorneys who specialize in probate litigation, a variety of trusts, specialized trusts, gifting, and more.

When you deal with an online site, do you really know the person providing advice?  What standards exist for hiring and retaining the attorneys?   How much continuing legal education do they pursue?  And importantly, are they up to date on all regulations and case law governing the areas of their practice?

One of the law firms for which I worked has e-newsletters (which many law firms have for their various practice groups), alerting clients to new legislation or rulings critical to maintaining up to date documents in a wide range of areas, including but not limited to estate planning.   Any law firm, or site that doesn't do this isn't one on which I would rely.  

I also get periodic letters on critical changes or updates on necessary document changes or additions, or  IRS positions.    Do online sites provide that?

Some law firms (including another for which I worked), had lunchtime seminars briefing staff on new regulations or updates in specific practice areas.    Do online sites have that?

E.g., there's been a change in the certification prepared and sometimes recorded as to the existence of trustees and successor trustees, which can now be used for real estate transactions.    This is important, b/c it means the trustee or successor trustee doesn't have to provide the entire certification document, with information that really isn't anyone's business except the trustee and his/her successors.

Minnie, these are issues you might want to consider.  

Another option to find reasonably priced attorneys is to go to Senior Center or other sponsored health care shows.    There often are law firms there, but you'll have to check the exhibitor list beforehand to see if there are.

The Area Agency on Aging has for years held an excellent Caregiver Expo, at which there were at least 3 or 4 local law firms present, distributing literature on various estate planning and elder law issues.  In my area, these seminars have been discontinued, unfortunately.  

Three local counties are holding seminars, but in spending some time yesterday locating others to substitute for the now D'C'ed AAA one, I found that most of them were held in the Spring.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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freqflyer Sep 29, 2019
I agree with GardenArtist. Many years ago I was a legal assistant and I wouldn't even think of drawing up my own Will much less a Will for someone else.

My sig other and I use an "Elder Law Attorney" who advises us any new State or Federal rulings coming down the pike that could play havoc with our current Will, or any other legal documents.
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I agree with GardenArtist. The costs of making a mistake in doing a will can be high and more than cancel out the savings from not hiring an attorney.
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Reply to Rosered6
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A para legal can do this for you and it will cost a lot less. They are educated and actually do most of the research for attorneys.
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Reply to anonymous912123
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How complicated your will needs to be depends on your circumstances. If you have assets that you want to transfer without going through probate, you may need to set up a living trust to go along with a will. Other complicating factors can be if you have minor children, adult children with a parent different from your current spouse, or a variety of other things. If you want to do a bit of self-education, the Nolo series of books are great about guiding you step-by-step with explanations and also flagging issues or circumstances where you probably want to consult an attorney. If you're circumstances are simple enough, there's no reason you can't draft your own will, but it is important to consult a reliable source of information that will point out when to get professional help.
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Reply to tempoe
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I agree 100% with Garden Artist. I do not have a legal background as she does, but I have seen the mess caused by not having professionally drafted legal documents.

My will, POAs etc all cost me less than $1000. Money well spent. Copies are held by me, the executor, who is also POA and the legal firm has the originals.

When my step dad was ill last year, it was quite wonderful to have a lawyer available to talk to the banks etc, during the time Mum was acting as POA and as executor. His help was invaluable.
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Reply to Tothill
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If your will is simple you can do a handwritten holographic will quite easily on your own. For your own good I would have your signature witnessed by a notary public. They will come to your home often for a nominal fee. You can also use two witnesses unrelated to you and not beneficiaries.
Do know that a hand written will is best HAND WRITTEN, and not a form, and not typed. In your own handwriting it will pass almost all muster.
The other thing you may wish to do is get someone who is a legal aid to assist. Reference a NOLO Press article, read Wills for Dummies. Good luck, and hoping it is not overly complicated for you. Be certain that the person you name as executor of your will would be willing to file it for probate. Very good if they have a copy. Good if your whole entire family knows where your will is kept. Do not lock it in a lock box unless you have a POA who has permission to go into your bank lock box. Even then I would not lock it away.
Do know that the best and safest way to do a will is with an attorney. It isn't rocket science and it isn't a trust that costs 5,000. Go to Senior centers and get recommends of those willing to do wills for a lower cost. Have all your ducks in the row of knowing and having written out what you have and who gets what. Also know if we are talking simple bank accounts or CDs that whoever is listed as POD (pay on death) will get that money no matter what a will says about it.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Tothill Sep 29, 2019
Alva, Holographic Wills are not accepted in all jurisdictions.
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A little late to answer, but see if you can find a paralegal that specializes in the field. A large majority of the time they are the ones actually drafting the documents anyway. Depending on the assets in the estate, they should be able to do this for hundreds versus thousands.
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Reply to Wuzzyblue
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I would go with an attorney.  Anyone can generate a will on legal zoom.  The question is will it be easily probated and accomplish what you want when you are not there to speak your piece.  If you are married,  do you understand what rights your spouse has?
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Reply to FloridaDD
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Call ur Office of Aging and ask for the number of Legal Aid. They will charge on scale depending on ur income. I would never draw up anything without a lawyer involved. That goes for DPOA too. They keep copies. Its more on the up and up.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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