What is a living will, or what kind of wills are there?

My husband and I have talked about making a will incase something happens to us. We need to decide who our son’s gaurdian should be and who the house goes to, etc. What is the best way to go about doing this and how much does it cost? Thanks.

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3 Responses to “What is a living will, or what kind of wills are there?”

  1. nomo Says:

    It costs nothing if you do your own. Google it for suggestions, then you can write it up, both sign in front of 2 witnesses ( some state may require a notary) and give a copy to the person named as guardian, keep the other in a safe place where it can be found easily. A living will is what you want done in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes about "pulling the plug" and that type of thing. A will is read after you die.

  2. Father Abraham Says:

    Wills only cover items that do not have listed beneficiaries or are not joint titled…so the will would not cover your retirement plans, Insurance policies, joint financial assets or your house.

    A Living Will tells folks what to do with you if you are still alive and can not speak for yourself

    A Health Care Surrogate tells folks what do do with you medically if you can not speak for yourself.

    A Holographic Will is a Will that is written entirely in your own handwriting and signed and dated.

    Non handwritten wills need to be signed and dated in the presence of at least two witnesses to be valid

    Guardians can be named in the will or with a separate document.

    Simple "I love You" Wills cost less than $200. Complicated Estate plans can cost thousands of dollars

  3. leegleze Says:

    First, let me commend you for having the foresight and enthusiasm to make a Will. You are doing your loved ones a great service!

    Secondly, a Living Will is different from a regular Will. A Living Will covers things that you would wish to happen should you be incapacitated, like your wishes for the medical treatment you’d receive, who would look after your bank accounts while you’re unable to do it yourself, etc. In some jurisdictions, the wishes of a spouse or the policy of a hospital can override the instructions in a Living Will, but it’s worth making one just in case both you and your hubby are hit by a bus at the same time.

    A regular Will comes into effect only after you have passed away. If you are not familiar with legal terminology, the best way to make a regular Will is through a lawyer. Lawyers know the time-tested phrasing and sentence structure to draft your Will so it is airtight and no one can contest it after you’re gone.

    There are Will Kits which can be bought for very little at your local book store, but you get what you pay for. If you don’t know the terminology to start with, how can you make an effective, sure-as-shootin’ document which will stand up in court should anyone choose to argue its points with your children?

    My students found the writing of their Will the most complicated drafting they ever did because they wouldn’t be there to emphasize their wishes once they died, and they wanted to make sure their wishes couldn’t be overturned in court.

    The cost varies, depending on what the lawyers generally charge in your area. Call a few of them. They generally have fixed rates for simple Wills and their assistants will be happy to tell you these just to get your business for other matters down the road. Keep in mind, fixed rates are for the Will itself, and any consultations during and after the drafting, by phone or otherwise, could be charged extra. This extra work and expense a lawyer does is called ‘disbursements’. It’s usually not much if you are firm in what you want in your Will, and it looks as if you and your husband have done a good job of thinking it out. Well done!