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Old 03-15-2013, 10:39 AM   #21
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This thread got me to wondering myself, so I did a quick search:
cost of a will - Google Search

and prices ranged from a few tens of dollars for DIY software to a few thousands of dollars for more complex estates with trusts & other documents done through attorneys.

When I had an attorney for a business, he offered to do these services for us at a discounted rate, which I expect is fairly common, depending on whether one has a "regular" atty and how often they use him/her. On other occasions when I've had to consult attys on one-offs, they've also asked, and offered to provide these services for (IIRC) a few hundred dollars.

It's on our list.

Tyro
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:43 PM   #22
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Find a lawyer you trust, update your will/trust every 5 years and pay a "fair" price which is probably around a thousand bucks.

Before you do that, however, go out and buy "Estate Planning Smarts" written by Deborah L Jacobs. I have her 2009 edition and it's a quick My DW and I each underlined parts we wanted to discuss and it really helped us more than spending a number of hours with a lawyer.

Good Luck......and aren't we lucky to have enough to need a will!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #23
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If a couple had everything in joint ownership (or TOD on separately owned assets) and you live in a state where joint stuff automatically to the spouse, maybe the risk associated with a DIY will solution would be very low, since the bulk of the estate wouldn't go through the will anyway. Of course if you both cash-in at the same time, you'd be upset for a couple of reasons, hehe.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:08 PM   #24
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What is a reasonable time for waiting between updating a will?

I got a trust with pour over will (I think that is the right term) by a California Atty group that specialized in them back in 1998

At the time I was concerned about estate tax, much less so now, although there is a reasonable chance my estate will pay a tax, I'll be dead so don't care.

I've changed states but nothing has changed about my beneficiaries. My executor is an attorney who I was very close to in California, we still see each other a couple of times a year but hardly close friends. I'd like to get somebody younger, but I think that can wait for a decade or so.

To me of greater concern is protecting my assets in cyberspace. Access to passwords and such informing my online friends of my demise and even a few digital assets. There was a good story this week on the PBS Newshour. A couple of years ago I asked about this and there were any great solutions. Judging from the new report not much has changed.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:18 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
What is a reasonable time for waiting between updating a will?
IANAL. I would think updating a will would be event-driven rather than time-dependent. Some wills may never need updating, while others (depending on life circumstances/events) may require updating more than once within a year.

Depending on one's situation, reviewing* a will annually -- or when some pertinent life event occurs or is imminent -- might be prudent, and then if warranted, have it updated.

*by yourself, then if there are any questions/concerns, by an atty.

Tyro
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:08 AM   #26
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I forget the exact numbers but $1,200 was about what it cost for FIL to get a new will, POA, and Advanced Health Care Directive.

In light of the following events the POA by itself was worth every nickel.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:55 PM   #27
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Suze Orman was selling her package that includes all of this. You get a CD with all the forms and you fill them out. She keeps you updated yearly of any changes in the law.

Have any of you purchased one of these? Do you like it and do you feel safe having your wills etc. done this way vs using your personal atty.?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:21 AM   #28
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I don't know anything about Suze's forms, but assuming that state specific text was drafted for a standard situation, I would be as confident in such a will as I would be in one some individual lawyer supposedly put together from his own interpretations of what to do. The biggest sticking point to me is making sure it was all witnessed, executed, recorded, notarized or whatever combination of these is required for your local jurisdiction. That I'm happy to insure was done correctly by paying the lawyer.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #29
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My thought as well. A lawyer with an estate practice also has experience in addressing family issues that often come up when their client becomes incompetent or dies. FWIW I wouldn't have my lawyer be my executor UNLESS no one else is suitable.
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