Do you have a will?

Merry - posted on 07/13/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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How do you make a will?
Is it expensive?
Do you have to pick people to take your kids if you both die?

We don't have a will obviously but I'm thinking that we should.
Although it's sort of scary to do it, like if I have a will then I'm one step closer to dying.
But obviously that's not true and I could just as easily die without a will.
Is there more to a will then just custody of your kids?
And of course who gets your money and possessions.

My mom died when I was 15, and my dad kicked me out at 18 so I was never taught this stuff and I honestly don't know what I should do!
Any advise?
Are wills a necessity?

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Amber - posted on 07/17/2011

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If you don't want to pay a lawyer, you can actually just get a template off the internet for a will. Once you've completed it, you just need to find a notary public to notarize it for you. It is then officially your will and cannot be contested. Notarizing it increases the validity making it harder to contest.

You can choose to include anything that you find important. You do not have to include any particular items, but if it is something that you have specific wishes for, then you should include it.
Anna covered all of the categories well, IMO.


@Teresa~ Even if you die before him, if you have a will and he then dies after. You would have a say in who gets the kids with neither of you alive. Otherwise, it's completely up to him. Not telling you what to do, just giving you that thought.

Anna - posted on 07/14/2011

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We have a will. My husband is an attorney in the Navy and a large part of his first year of service was spent doing wills for incoming sailors. He just signed us up to get one done as well, I didn't really think about it much. His comprehension of all things legal is far above my own so, I'm kinda ashamed to admit, I let him mostly write it out as I nodded my head in approval but this is what I remember covering:

1. Money issues. This is mostly important for people who have a ton of it but hey, might as well right?

2. Custody of the kids should each of us die. I don't remember what the fall back is should you both die and there is no will, so here is where I'm glad we have our wishes legally expressed in writing.

3. Power of attorney. Should we both become incapacitated, who's in charge of our estate and what not (not that we have one, but we hope to someday).

4. Advance health directive, or living will. This is similar to power of attorney, but specifically designates a person who can make end of life decisions for us if say, we're on life support, feeding tube etc. You can be specific about what you want to be done in these circumstances here as well. But, since it's impossible to express your wishes regarding every possible scenario, you then assign a person who you trust to make decisions regarding anything that wasn't covered specifically.

There's no getting around the fact that you need to contemplate death in order to do it, especially for the living will part. But I am glad to have it done. It's free for members of the military who have it done at their legal office on base, but I have no idea what the charge is elsewhere. Hope that helps.

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Gina - posted on 07/17/2011

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I've been thinking alot about this too but it's so damn scary! The only thing I'm worried about is my daughter.I worry if something happens to the relationship my hubby has with my family, now it's a good one, he's close to my parents and sisters but what if that changed? It's so important to me that if I'm gone my daughter still has the close relationship with them.
I don't care about anything else but I can't see how a will can cover that,

Karla - posted on 07/17/2011

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We had one done when our son was born. The procedure was just as Lindsey explained. It cost us $150, but we should have shopped around a little more. Sure it is unpleasant to think about, but as parents I feel like it's our job to deal with it for the benefit of our children.

Lindsey - posted on 07/17/2011

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My husband and I had our wills drawn up after our son was born.

I don't think the procedure in the U.S. would differ much from that in Canada. Basically we went to a lawyer, she asked some questions and then she drew up our will and we signed it a couple of weeks later. Not really complicated at all. As for cost, I have no idea what it would be in your area, however I recommend shopping around for a lawyer as their fees can vary.


Anna touched on most things that a will covers. In addition to those, you will have to decide who will be the executor of your estate. That person will have the responsibility of managing your finances (paying bills, handling life insurance policies, and distributing your estate). Normally that would be your spouse, however you will be asked to pick one in the event that both of you pass away. Be sure to ask that person beforehand, as it can be a lot of work.

As a side note, my lawyer informed us that while we have specified who we would want to raise our son should something happen to us, it isn't written in stone and can be contested. Strange isn't it, that everything else in a will is to be followed to a tee, but the most important thing of all can be challenged and ultimately changed.

Don't put it off. If you can't afford to have one drawn up by a lawyer, look into a do it yourself kit. They have them here in Canada, although I don't know how legally binding they are.

Anna - posted on 07/14/2011

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Oh, and I forget about organ donation. I think this is where you set that up as well. More legal than the pen on the back of the drivers license.

[deleted account]

I have no clue about getting a will (as far as cost and procedure go). I do think that having a will is extremely important if you have kids, but it just never happened for us. I DID write something up listing the different people we wanted to take the kids... in order of preference, but never did anything w/ it. If I die now... my ex gets them whether I like it or not. IF he dies before I do.... then I'll get a will. ;)

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