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Legal Forms??

The pastor who is marrying us has given us some homework: find and fill out both health proxies (he makes medical decisions for me if I am unable to) and living wills. We don't want to hire a lawyer for any of this because we're trying to save money.

-Has anyone had to fill these out?
-Where to obtain them? I've found a number of different versions of each online
-What to do with them once we've filled them out? Do we keep them? Give them to a random lawyer? Put them in some sort of bank safe?
- For the living wills - what if we don't have anything of substance (house, money, etc.) to will away? We both just graduated from college and are renting an apartment.

Thanks!

Re: Legal Forms??

  • A living will is for if you are in an accident and in a coma and there is not chance of waking up, would you want your FH to pull the plug.  (Just one scenario) A regular Will is for your assets, I assume you have cars, jewelry, even photos.  The more detailed you are the less fighting there is when you are gone.  

    Instead of going thru a lawyer you could just have them notarized, I believe it is cheaper.  You could put them in a safety deposit box and make other family members aware of them so this way if something happens to the two you.  It is a hard thing to think about but a very important thing to do.  Because anything that is not in your FI's will will go to his estate and it will take a very long time for you to legal own his property if something happens to him and vis verse.  

    The property does always go to the next of Kin but without a will in can be up to a year process before you have rights to it.  I only know because a friend of mine lost her father a couple of years ago, he was not married without a will.  She had to get a lawyer just to be able to claim her father's property, it was crazy
  • Things vary by state so make sure you get the forms for your state.  Do you have any options through your work?  My work gives us access to Prudential where we can get the forms and we just have to have them notarized.   I'm pretty sure you can just keep them in some fireproof box.  If you get an attorney, they'll keep copies, too.

    As PP said, there is a difference between a living will and a will.  Do you have pets?  Or anything you want to go to some specific person (piece of jewelry, etc)?  You'll want a will for those type things.  They are pretty easy when you don't have many assets so it doesn't hurt to do one.  Speeds up the process quite a bit like PP said.  Once you do get assets, you'll want to talk to an estate lawyer as they can do things like help save money on estate/inheritance taxes, power of attorney, etc.
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    BabyFruit Ticker
    TTC #1 since 08/11 IUI#2 = BFP!
  • I agree with the others, but something I want to add--while you're probably fine writing your own living will, I don't recommend writing your own regular will without a lawyer.  The reason being, state law trumps anything written in your will, so if you write something into your will contrary to state law, it can be void.  And this can be really simple stuff, like who gets certain assets, because in some states, certain assets HAVE to go to your spouse no matter what.  Just something to think about.

    Maybe you can Google the forms and see if there is any information on how to write it properly if you do decide to do it solo.

    In general, though, a will is not necessary until children are in the picture.
  • In Response to Re: Legal Forms??:
    [QUOTE]I agree with the others, but something I want to add--while you're probably fine writing your own living will, I don't recommend writing your own regular will without a lawyer.  The reason being, state law trumps anything written in your will, so if you write something into your will contrary to state law, it can be void.  And this can be really simple stuff, like who gets certain assets, because in some states, certain assets HAVE to go to your spouse no matter what.  Just something to think about. Maybe you can Google the forms and see if there is any information on how to write it properly if you do decide to do it solo. In general, though, a will is not necessary until children are in the picture.
    Posted by goheels05[/QUOTE]

    Ditto Heels on the actual will. I have a friend who works for a lawyer that specializes in wills, and she was once telling me how insanely intricate the wording has to be to just say "I want the house to go to my husband, and my daughters can split my jewlery" and have it hold up in court.

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.
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    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: Legal Forms??:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Legal Forms?? : Ditto Heels on the actual will. I have a friend who works for a lawyer that specializes in wills, and she was once telling me how insanely intricate the wording has to be to just say "I want the house to go to my husband, and my daughters can split my jewlery" and have it hold up in court.
    Posted by megk8oz[/QUOTE]

    This is so true.  And it's so sad to see people pay $99.99 for the online form to try to write their own will and have the whole thing thrown out and their wishes ignored, especially when they could have hired a lawyer for $2-300 and gotten a binding will.
  • It sounds like you don't need to worry about writing a will to divide your assets after you've passesd.  For the living will, you are writing out what you want to happen in the event you are mentally incapable of making decisions (coma, dementia, etc).  You can absolutely find them and print them out online.  Most states have a pretty standard form you can print out and get notarized.

    The second form is for your durable power of attorney for health care.  Forms for these are just as easy to find.  When you guys fill these out, make sure you have talked about what each of you would/would not want to happen just in case something happens to one of you.  Telling each other exactly what you want will help eliminate any potential Terry Schaivo incidents.

    After you fill them out and have them notarized, keep them in a safe place like a safe deposit box at a bank or a safe in your home.  It might be a good idea to make a copy and give it to someone like your parents as well, just in case.

    HTH.  Good luck!
  • In Response to Re: Legal Forms??:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Legal Forms?? : This is so true.  And it's so sad to see people pay $99.99 for the online form to try to write their own will and have the whole thing thrown out and their wishes ignored, especially when they could have hired a lawyer for $2-300 and gotten a binding will.
    Posted by MyNameIsNot[/QUOTE]

    I think it depends on the state.  My dad is an estate attorney and has passed the bar in Iowa and Nebraska and said the simple will that I did that was basically an online form is fine once I have it notarized. 

    Moral of the story, it is best to check with an attorney.
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    BabyFruit Ticker
    TTC #1 since 08/11 IUI#2 = BFP!
  • Many states have a legal referral phone line. The first visit is usually cheap (under 100) & the lawyer can give you an overview of laws in your state about health proxies /living will.

    Also many State Supreme Courts have approved forms. Go to their website or ask the clerk of your county if their are approved forms. Do not use forms that have not been approved.

    Planning Bio
    Married 9/15/11

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    *This is Not Legal Advice*
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