Four years ago when I was pregant with my first daughter, my husband and I decided that we should get a financial planner to prepare for our family’s future. We met with a recommended Planner, and the first thing he said that we needed to do was to get a Will. I was surprised that this was his first recommendation, because my hope was that he was going to instantly start making us money with great investments. His thought was that any focus on our future finances was a waste if we didn’t have the legal documentation to make sure that it was handled properly if one of us were to pass away. By the way, his second recommendation was that we start to track how much money we spent on chinese takeout and put half of that into savings every month.
Our next step was to meet with the lawyer. We chose a family friend. It was a pretty easy process. We just answered all of the lawyer’s questions, until he asked about guardianship for our children. My husband and I are both very close to our sisters, and we could not agree on who should raise our children. So instead of making a decision on the spot, we asked the lawyer to write up the documents and in the meantime we would make a decision.
The papers finally came for our review. We both pleaded our cases for who should be guardian and why. And we did such a good job, no one won. So instead of making a decision, we held off on signing our Will until three office visits and two years later. If you are trying to keep your costs down during this process, our approach should not be followed. Lawyers charge you by the hour, whether they are writing your documents, or trying to council you through the decision process. And our lawyers were extremely gracious with their time and money.
The good news is we now have a signed Will, and we are both happy with the arrangements that we have made for our children’s future. I have recently seen several television commercials for Online Wills, something like www.legalzoom.com. And if you google this subject, many options come up with good refrences from media outlets and the Better Business Bureau. I have been told that in some cases, you can get documents perpared for right around $100 dollars. So there is no excuse to put it off any longer.
Thanks, Jenny. Does anyone have any recommendations for preparing a Will? Please share.