Oct 18 2010

Getting a will and other legal docs


It’s pretty ridiculous that Shane and I have been married for 3+ years and have an almost 2-year-old…and we still don’t have wills.

We have no excuse.

One of Shane’s company benefits is a cheap legal plan. We pay $15.75/month and are required to pay for a full year if we want to opt into the plan, so that’s $189/year.

Wills are among the services covered under that plan.

We have an appointment with an attorney to make this for us and I plan to blog some more about the experience. So far, setting up the appointment has been easy! We’re off to a good start.

In the meantime, if you don’t have a will, get one! You don’t even need to hire an attorney. You can do it yourself online. Do some Googling to figure out a good option for yourself and to see what your state will require.

[Edited later — I now think it’s probably best to meet with an attorney to do this. A DIY will is probably better than nothing at all, but if you’re going to do it, I think it’s beneficial to have a legal expert customize it for you, for your situation, for your state.]

Mainly, I want to get our wills set up because hi, I have a son with another child on the way. In the event Shane and I meet our Maker at the same time while we still have minor children (I really hope it doesn’t go down that way, but who knows!), I want to pre-pick who will be raising my children.

I don’t want the courts to decide. I don’t want it to be awkward for family. I don’t want it to be a hassle for anyone.

In addition, I want our assets to be distributed as Shane and I see fit. I don’t want it to have to go to probate court to get sorted out — they might not do it how I would have wanted, PLUS there are extra fees and headaches involved with that. No thanks.

So…do you have a will? Why or why not?

Posted under Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Getting a will and other legal docs”

  1. My DMIL always thought she didn’t need a will. She had one son and had everything in both of their names. So…..she really didn’t however. I convinced her to write one anyway….. With one of those office supply will kits. Well she was injured and she needed to borrow money against a CD she had to continue in rehab. So in order to borrow money against it she had to take her son’s name off of the cd. She died before the debt was paid without that will as back up would have been a mess. So guess what I did went right out and got a will. Because my best friend is who I would want raising my child…. not my parents.

  2. My wife and I each have a will. We got one as soon as we had children. We wanted to make sure that we have people who agreed toraise our kids and that we had enough money for the children. While we hope that we never have to invoke the provisions of the will, having a will adds a bit to my own comfort. I would not feel good if I left this world not knowing what would happen to my loved ones.

  3. I don’t – but it is a plan (sadly it has been a plan for a couple years). Time to act and make the phone call for an appointment.

  4. I have been married 13 years and still do not have a will. You want to know why??? My husband and I CANNOT agree on who would raise our kids if we should both die at the same time. Pathetic I know, but it is an issue that gets tempers escalating at a frightening pace, and so it is avoided plain and simple. Good thing is, we are never together alone very often, so it is unlikely (barring an act of God) that we would die together :) I work with a lady who has been married 26 years and has never had one, so it is more common than I thought.

    Still, I DO need to get one done.

  5. This is a good reminder to me. I have 2 young children, and we don’t have one yet because we have not made it a priority – but we need to do it! My uncle died when I was in 8th grade and they did not have a will, and it was such a mess. It is so important to have a will. I need to get this done in the next week – because you never know when your time is up…although I am hoping to grow very old with my husband!

  6. We did ours about 9 years ago, but we redid them a few weeks ago because we have a child together now. They are ready to be signed but trying to get my hubby back is a problem as he is working 12-18 hour days. 9 years ago i think we paid around $50-$75 a piece so I am anxious to see what the charge will be now. We did have to go to a new attorney because the old one retired. We are also deciding on more insurance on my husband as i feel he is way under assured for life insurance. He passed the physical now just to decide on how much to go with. I believe a will is a must especially if you have children!!

  7. I need to get on this. I found out you can name more than one person as a guardian – Person A, and if they are unwilling or unable then Person B. I like that idea. We just need to ask the people we have in mind.

    My mom told me that if the person you pick as your child’s guardian is not a blood relative, and the family contests the will after your death, then the courts will rule in favor of the family. That bothers me. :-(

  8. Hmm, I will ask the attorney about what is contestable in terms of guardianship and get back to you on that, Ashley!

  9. Everyone needs a will. Fourteen years ago my 20 yr old daughter died as the result of a car accident. She was a student, worked part time and had the “stuff” most young people have…older car, 17 pairs of jeans, 37 pairs of undies, a bedroom full of stuffed animals…that sort of stuff, nothing much of value. Because of the circumstances of the accident, her estate ended up totaling more than 250K! Legally her father, who never paid child support or or paid attention to her, was entitled to 50% of her estate. A wise judge saw otherwise, he got $1.00. It took 2 years to go through probate… instead of just a few months. So, if you’re 18 or over you NEED a will!

  10. Wow, Dee, I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. I am so sorry for your loss.

    You give another good reason for people of any age to get a will! Thank you for commenting.

  11. My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years. We don’t have any kids. We don’t have wills. I think we keep putting it off because we know we have nothing worth fighting for, our families are pretty drama-free with us nowadays, and the next of kin is of course the spouse.

    BUT. That said. We need to have them. We need to have living wills too. Just been procrastinating. Certainly before (or while I’m pregnant with) our first child, we’ll get it done. :)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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