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making a will?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i was wondering if anyone is making or already has a will made up because of the baby coming? we're thinking of making one up and i didnt know if this was common or just something that whoever advised us wanted us to do for whatever reason.

thoughts?


jenny.
post #2 of 11
My DH and I are having the same discussion, and plan to have at least something in place before the baby's arrival. We got a little "do it yourself" legal software package and will give that a try...if not we have a nice attorney friend who will be able to do something basic for now.

Probably a good idea to have something in place...
post #3 of 11
we must do that before the baby arrives! Otherwise, dw will not have any recognized legal relationship with our baby if anything were to happen to me. Even though we are legally married, only my name can go on the birth certificate until after we complete a 2nd parent adoption. So it's very important that our will is very clear about the baby going to dw. For this reason, we are going to have to shell out the $ for a lawyer, to make sure that this is all clear. Otherwise, I'm guessing it's pretty straightforward....oh! except that we have to figure out who would care for baby if something happened to both of us...

thanks for reminding me about this It's way down on my list, but with only 10 weeks left (aaah!) it's time to get going on it...
post #4 of 11
my dh and i just started talking about this. child number three on the way, and we have NO CLUE who would be responsible for them if something happened to us. my DH has life insurance, and i'm getting it now too, but i always figured that if i died my kids would die with me. i know it sounds weird, but they are ALWAYS with me. so, i guess i just never thought they'd need someone else to care for them.

anyway, we are going to do a living will soon, and we'll probably get a "do it yourself" kit or something like that.
post #5 of 11
I took care of this last spring. It's so good to know that the person I choose is going to get the kids. What a load off my mind.
post #6 of 11
Is a lawyer really needed? I would think a video tape of your wishes and a signed paper list would do legally. I mean, how can they go against that? Can they? I know I don't have money for a lawyer right now. I don't have money for anything right now.....=/
post #7 of 11
sarajane - each state has formal requirements for making an effective will. For instance, in New York, a videotape of one's wishes will be ineffective; it must be in writing and signed by the person making the will and signed and attested to by 2 witnesses and the person making the will must make certain declarations to the attesting witnesses, such as "this is my last will and testatment". If you can't afford a lawyer, you might want to invest in one of those do-it-yourself wills software. i know nothing about them, but i think i saw something about them on suze orman's website (she's that finanacial advisor person who has a t.v. show).

good luck!
post #8 of 11
So, do it yourself wills? So that means the 2 witness's can be anybody? They don't have to be someone of the legal profession?

I've never looked into anything like this so I am rather ignorant on the topic. :

People have talked of getting their will done with their lawyer but never did I ask or did they mention the details of the situation. Thanks for the info.
post #9 of 11
Each state has its own specific requirements for a will to be considered valid. Don't asume that you can just write/videotape something on your own. It may not hold water in court. I'm an attorney but do not specialize in estate planning. I cannot advise on do-it-yourself programs, as I don't know anything about them. However, should you go that route, find out how many witnesses your state requires. It may be 2 or 3. I would have one extra witness over the required number, just in case. Also, make sure that each witness is a DISINTERESTED witness, i.e. not entitled to inherit anything under the will OR under state inheritance laws. Basically, exclude all relatives. Also, the witnesses must know that they are signing a will.

Personally, I would get an attorney. This way your mind is at ease that all drafting formalities have been fulfilled. Its not very expensive to do a simple will. Call around.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
i think (at least here in ohio) as long as it is notorized it is considered legal.

jenny.
post #11 of 11

recommend attorney if you can

We had one done when first baby born (due with #4). I recommend using an attorney in your state who knows the requirements for wills so that it is legal and valid. Some states need you to add each child as born, won't allow general statements of "children". Ours does and as such our attorney wrote it up that way for us. In addition, he was able to be sure that everything was spelled out properly. Suggested we name two potential guardians for the children in case the first was unable to do it (in case of death, hardship, etc.) otherwise then the courts decide... etc. Very worth the $300 or so in the long run. It also includes info for each of us if just one dies too which is helpful. We really feel covered so to speak. Otherwise a lot of an estate can end up with the government (at least in US).

I would also recommend this if you aren't legally married as the laws may not cover you otherwise and you NEVER know what relative may object to your plans...

Even with my family my mom was upset when she learned we had named two of my husband's brothers as guardians rather than my sisters! I couldn't believe it since my sister's are much younger than me and not married at time or in a place to care for children! Also my two BILs are VERY well off financially and it wouldn 't be a hardship for them to take in our children even if we didn't leave much money... so you never know.

Last thought, don't assume your kids would die if you do even if with you. That is one reason for will but also why we have contact information attached to each child's carseat with their information and emergency contact info for parents/other relatives just in case I/dh is killed or severely injured in an accident.

Lani
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