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Just calling attorneys, and try to get a $ price, is very frustrating.

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I remember seeing my parents Will and it was filled with landmines, as my parents didn't use an Elder Law Attorney to have it drawn up. So I quickly got my parents over to my Elder Law Attorney who re-did the Wills, a huge difference. And a huge relief to me, as I probably would have asked to be part of the witness protection program before I would have dealt with their old Wills.... [sigh]

All it takes is one missing word or one misplaced word to make a simple Will very complex.
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Reply to freqflyer
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There are template forms you can use for both. Free but obviously they will be pretty generic.

Try Willmaker from the makers of TurboTax. They will ask you pretty much the same questions a lawyer would and generate a will and POA based on that. You may be able to do this free by checking it out from your local library. This is what I did. No one has ever questioned any of the forms including the healthcare directive.

Check to see if there is a free elder law clinic in your area. In mine, there are two. They will make a simple will and poa for you for free.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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Legal documents are one of those areas where it's a case of "you get what you pay for". I know the price hurts, but trying to untangle a badly drawn Will or POA will be 10x worse. Case in point, my husband's grandmother passed away in 2012 and the estate still hasn't been sorted out and it wasn't a huge estate. There is absolutely zero left to distribute because all funds and assets have gone in legal spend trying to unpick the cheap generic Will she had that a well-meaning friend had helped her complete.

Contrast with my late father, usually a miserly individual. He had a properly drawn Will and POA. Probate granted in 4 months and estate fully wound up in 5 months.

Get recommendations, go and talk to the lawyers, and pick the best one you can afford.
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Reply to PinkPanther11
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Person at mom’s bank told us to go to office supply store to buy durable POA paperwork . We filled it out, went to bank where it was notarized. It was not so bad, and not expensive, and definitely legal. The same office supply store has a whole section of forms and documents, which come with instructions. Even for wills. Check it out!
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Reply to Sibby58
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DO IT RIGHT and see a proper attorney!! You will have a far worst headache if it's not done right in accordance to your state laws. You can only do POA when the loved one is still cognizant; otherwise, it will require a court-appointed guardian.
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JudyReed4 Jun 16, 2019
Cetude -- you are so right. I have a top attorney in th estate-planning field. He usually charges $2,500, but because he is handling another legal matter for me, he's charging me $1,500. I think that's the average for an average attorney. I worked for attorneys for nearly 30 years, and I still think it is best to hire someone who knows the legal ropes in my state.
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Dreisenwitz, when it comes to Power of Attorney, the attorney will be asking a lot of questions. My POA is 19 pages long, so my Will is probably many pages more. Thus, preparing such legal paperwork is time consuming, thus the reason why Attorney's charge what they do.

If you do use an Attorney, be sure to go to an "Elder Law Attorney" as they specialize in everything related to laws regarding us older folks :) The attorney may even suggest you get a Medical Directive which is a guide toward what you wish to have done during your final months. I was so very glad both my parents had such a document.

If you are unable to budget for this legal paperwork, you might try Legal Aid to see what is the cost for a Will and POA.
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needtowashhair Jun 13, 2019
Mine are about the same length that were generated based on the questions Willmaker asked. I don't think there's much novel going on in will or POA making. Just like with a real estate agent, they ask questions and plug in the answers.

I've looked at wills generated by Willmaker and a high dollar lawyer. I don't see much difference.
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My POAs are not 19 pgs long. The Medical is a little longer but it reads like a living will.

With the problems that some people have with using a POA, I would spend the money and make sure its done right. If your state requires it to be filed good. My lawyer has copies of mine.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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As all answers indicate here, it is extremely important that this be done right and by someone who either specializes in wills and estates, or an elder law attorney. If there is any senior center in your town there may be there a list of attorneys who will help at a minimal rate, or sliding scale rate. I know it is a huge expense. But crucial it be done correctly.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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For my dad, all three POAs are 8 pages.

It doesn't have to be complicated to be valid and legal and thorough.

Attorneys are great for using 30 words when 2 would have been sufficient. That's how they justify their fees.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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youngonce Jun 15, 2019
Most lawyers use a form that they use over and over with minor changes to fit the client. ie names and contact info .. I personally had a will drawn by a lawyer then had to change the will because of some issues with the dpoa, hired an alder lawyer for twice the amount of the original will., when it was done it was primarily exact same wording . Most reputable alder lawyers will give a flat fee unless there are some unusual circumstances
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Legal Zoom dot com.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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gdaughter Jun 15, 2019
Just be very careful to make sure it will hold up and is properly notarized. Your local city hall or AAA may have a notary. THere are some elder law attorneys, probably a rarity, who will do work based on the task, i.e. a POA is X number of dollars as opposed to charging by the hour. Or try Legal Aid or ask for a referral if they can't help.
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