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How to go about getting a will done ?

uvasag 412 131 September 16, 2015 at 01:12 PM
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One of my friend was shot dead by her husband. Her 3 children are in separate Foster Cares and the state won't give her out of state grandmother custody. She is spending time and money fighting the system to get custody of her grandchildren. It's a tragedy but it has now gotten me thinking of having a will in place for my children. How do I go about it ? Do the software legalzoom work or should I hire a lawyer ? I'm in Michigan. How much would a lawyer charge for a will ? TIA

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#2
Quote from uvasag View Post :
One of my friend was shot dead by her husband. Her 3 children are in separate Foster Cares and the state won't give her out of state grandmother custody. She is spending time and money fighting the system to get custody of her grandchildren. It's a tragedy but it has now gotten me thinking of having a will in place for my children. How do I go about it ? Do the software legalzoom work or should I hire a lawyer ? I'm in Michigan. How much would a lawyer charge for a will ? TIA
It is important to first understand the difference between will, trust and power of attorney for such circumstances. Additional, you may wish to understand living will vs. will and why you wish to avoid probate. there is adequate documentation online or local library to explain all but be patient as a lot of reading.

After you are done with the above depending on the number of assets you will need to understand your state laws as it relates to how they handle probate, or commonlaw partnership/marriage in the event of death.

After all the above, you can either use software, legalzoom or a lawyer. Lawyer is most expensive as once you are educated you can sue software or LEgalZoom and create your will and simply have witness, executor and get it notorize. Store in multiple safe places and you're done.
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#3
If your overall life is relatively uncomplicated (no complicated or multiple businesses, no blended families, etc.) then I'd go the WillMaker route. WillMaker will walk you through making your will step by step (it's very easy) and it will walk you through all of the steps you'll need to do once you've completed your will. Some states require you to get your will notarized, others don't. Just follow their state-specific instructions and you'll be fine.
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#4
I have software and my ex wife wanted to use a friend of hers the software willmaker produced a better more complete will than the lawyer did.

Just use a software package and plan it out, if they do it where you live file the will with the county clerk to make sure it will be executed.
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#6
Thank you all. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do first and do my homework.
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#7
Quote from komondor View Post :
I have software and my ex wife wanted to use a friend of hers the software willmaker produced a better more complete will than the lawyer did.

Just use a software package and plan it out, if they do it where you live file the will with the county clerk to make sure it will be executed.
Must have been a crappy lawyer laugh out loud
Good lawyers are well worth the expense, just like a good accountant can actually save you money.
If you go the lawyer route be sure to hire a trusts and estates specialist and not a generic lawyer.
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#8
Once you use legalzoom and do the will, decide executors and all, then what do we do next. When one dies, how does the will get invoked? How does the state know that a will exists and where it is?
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#9
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
If your overall life is relatively uncomplicated (no complicated or multiple businesses, no blended families, etc.) then I'd go the WillMaker route. WillMaker will walk you through making your will step by step (it's very easy) and it will walk you through all of the steps you'll need to do once you've completed your will. Some states require you to get your will notarized, others don't. Just follow their state-specific instructions and you'll be fine.
Yes fortunately uncomplicated. Single family, no business etc. My main concern is my children and to give authority to my brother in the event that something happens to both me and my husband. I'll look into WillMaker.
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#10
This has been a major worry for me. If my wife and I die in an accident or something, I know for sure that my kids will be looked after by the grand parents in the best possible way. But they live abroad (and aren't citizens or residents of US) and I highly doubt they will ever be able to get custody

I tried to do a will with rocket-lawyer, but it wasn't very helpful...
May be I should try Legalzoom next
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#11
Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
This has been a major worry for me. If my wife and I die in an accident or something, I know for sure that my kids will be looked after by the grand parents in the best possible way. But they live abroad (and aren't citizens or residents of US) and I highly doubt they will ever be able to get custody

I tried to do a will with rocket-lawyer, but it wasn't very helpful...
May be I should try Legalzoom next
I agree. It was only after this incident with my friend that it hit closer to home and my need to have papers in place. I'm fortunate to have a brother whose kids are the same age as mine and I know he will take care of my kids. My parents too are abroad and old and it would be practically impossible for them to fight for custody of my kids.
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#12
Quote from lemontart View Post :
Must have been a crappy lawyer laugh out loud
Good lawyers are well worth the expense, just like a good accountant can actually save you money.
If you go the lawyer route be sure to hire a trusts and estates specialist and not a generic lawyer.
Bet that was the answer.
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#13
Quote from stubbornboy View Post :
Once you use legalzoom and do the will, decide executors and all, then what do we do next. When one dies, how does the will get invoked? How does the state know that a will exists and where it is?
Easy. Let someone you trust know that you have a will and where it will be stored - ideally the same person that will be your executor. Once you die, they open the will and get the ball rolling.
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#14
A will isn't what most people think. Unlike in the movies, it isn't the end all and be all. Depending on the state, your estate will still go to probate will or not. It's more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. Much like how a living will/healthcare directive is pretty much a request. If you want something hard and fast like a DNR then you need to get it made into a medical order. Otherwise, it's really up to the doctor to decide whether to follow your living will or not. Something to look into is a trust. That's a separate legal entity that will survive you and thus avoid probate.
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#15
willing.com let you create a free Last will, with simple steps.,
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