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Kaufman  (Level: 267.8 - Posts: 3941)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 11:09 AM


Don't worry, just a little long-overdue preparation, but do any of you have experience with preparing your will yourself using kits and services available online? Recommendations or pitfalls to avoid?


Bigbird  (Level: 249.1 - Posts: 3337)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 11:43 AM

No experience - we used a lawyer - but just advice to also do health proxies if you don't have them yet.


Linenlady  (Level: 159.1 - Posts: 306)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 12:48 PM

I haven't used an online source either. I work in a hospital and when a person is admitted for whatever reason, one of the first questions they get asked is "Do you have an Advance Directive?" Everyone is encouraged to read one and the directions and make their decisions while they're in good health and able to think rationally about how they would want their medical decisions to go if they were unable to make them personally. With an Advance Directive, you determine what level of care you would want to receive if you were too sick, or unconscious or confused or drugged and unable to decide for yourself. You are also able to appoint a Healthcare Proxy who is authorized to make medical decisions for you, based on your discussions with the person and what you've stated you'd want to have happen, as well as the Advance Directive.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 7:42 PM

Ken, make sure you look into a community property agreement as well. I don't know what the laws are in your state but if a CPA is on file with the courthouse in Idaho, the property passes automatically to the spouse without having to do a probate. Much easier on the surviving spouse.

Kaufman  (Level: 267.8 - Posts: 3941)
Wed, 11th Apr '07 11:27 PM

Right. We're most concerned about what happens if something should happen to both of us ...

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 1:29 AM

Let me know if you need the full correct spelling of my name.

Surreyman  (Level: 272.3 - Posts: 2771)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 3:40 AM

Well, as far as UK law is concerned - and I suspect that the effects of US law are little different even if the routes are - be VERY wary of kits, etc. They're far too simplistic.

/1/ It's certainly better to complete a 'kit' will than not to have one at all - certainly, in the UK, the lack of a will can a) lead to great delays in whoever having access to the assets and b) result in your hated 2nd. cousin twice removed scooping the lot!

/2/ But then do take professional advice, not only legal but also financial. There can be many twists and turns not covered by kits.

Simplistically, a typical husband/wife will could leave all to the surviving spouse - maybe 80% of Brit wills do that. Not a good idea, it can leave the estate open to a later 40% 'death' tax.

Maybe not the same in US law, but I'm sure there are similar quirks of other types.

When you consider the value of an estate, £200/$350 or so for a decent will is peanuts.

Soldotna  (Level: 27.7 - Posts: 145)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 8:55 AM

I downloaded forms from our state for my Dad and he filled them out at home...signed them in front of a notary and had them filed at the court house with no problems.

Salzypat  (Level: 161.6 - Posts: 5414)
Fri, 27th Apr '07 8:21 AM

Here's a related issue I recommend: You should also write your own obituary. No, I'm not joking. I have worked with obituaries at the newspaper for 15-plus years. There can be a lot of heartache, family problems, with obituaries written at the moment of grief, i.e., leaving out a close family member from the survivors, spelling of names, not knowing basic information, etc. I've presented many programs on the importance of having your obituary written and copies given to your children, pastor, attorney....

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