The Easiest Way to Get a Will

19 Dec

This post covers the basics of why you need a will and how to get one at no cost.

There are two reasons you need a will:

1.  You never know when you’ll die
2.  If you die without a will, the state in which you reside will determine who gets her property

It is very important to understand that laws having to do with the distribution of your property are state laws.  Therefore, any comments in this post are general in nature and will vary in each of the 50 states.

Where to Get a Will

In many states, getting a will is as easy as going to a stationery store and purchasing a state approved form that serves as you will.  You simply fill it in, have witnessed by two other people and it becomes a legally binding document.  In other states, the legislature may not have approved a pre-formatted will available at the stationery store.  in those cases, you can use a general form will that you can find in many books.  For example no low press, a publisher of self help legal books, has both books with will forms in them and also software that you can use to create your will.

The solutions above do not require an attorney.  However, if you are worried about preparing such a document on your own, you may be able to get help without having to pay an attorney.  Some counties have a public legal help agency.  There, you can visit with an attorney or a paralegal at little or no cost and they will help you prepare a will.  Another option, which is a low-cost, are stores in the business of helping per people do their own legal documents.  These stores have the documents and sell their assistance for preparing wills or trusts or divorce papers at very modest costs, much lower than an attorney would charge.

There you have it.  The easy way to satisfy your need to have a will.

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To Make a Will Useful

Once your will is complete, make sure that the people who need to know where it is located know that information.  For example, in your will you will need to name an executor.  The executor is the person who actually carries out the instructions in your will.  Typically, this is a family member or very close friend.  That person should get a copy of you will and know where the original is located.  You may also want to give copies to your beneficiaries, the people that will be inheriting your property.

The last thing to keep in mind is that certain of your assets do not get distributed based on what your will says.  For example, if you have an IRA account or a 401(k) account through your employer, on those assets, you name a beneficiary and that is the person who will get that asset regardless of what is in your will.  The same is true of annuities.

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