While figuring out your personal finances, be sure you don’t forget the importance of having a solid will. While it’s understandable that you don’t want to think about your death, doing so better ensures you don’t leave your loved ones with unpaid debts and any question as to what you want to do with the money you leave behind. While learning personal finance tips from pros like , it’s a good idea to do some research into how much you can expect to spend to secure your finances after your death.
It Depends on Where You Live
Your geographic location plays a big part in how much you can expect to pay for a will. If you live in an urban area, you can expect to pay more for a will than you would if you lived in a less densely populated area. No matter the location, it’s common for lawyers to charge a flat fee to draft a will, which is easier for them as well as their clients since wills are such a common request. That being said, know that lawyers don’t always charge the same flat fee for every client they get, mainly because cases aren’t always the same.
You Can Draft Your Own Will, But You Shouldn’t
While you might be fine taking care of your taxes on your own, it’s best you not use software or programs that allow you to create your own will just so you can save some money. While it’s understandable to want to get the lowest price without compromising on quality, DIY wills are often a bad idea, mainly because you might flub the wording or not carry out all the requirements necessary for the document to be considered legally binding. Working with a lawyer better ensures you’re aware of the latest laws regarding wills in your state and that everything is left to the right people.
Consider Estate Planning Packages
A will is just one part of planning your financial future and your estate. As you and your lawyer are working on your will, it’s a great time to ask about power of attorney, health care directives and the like. These documents are great to have in the event you’re incapacitated and unable to make decisions about the medical care you receive. There’s also the fact that you might need someone responsible to take care of your financial affairs while you’re incapacitated; you don’t want to come out of a coma only to learn your spendthrift sister failed to keep up with your expenses and blew through your savings.
You Might Want to Go With a Small Firm
One way you can save money on the cost of a will is by going with a small firm to handle the job rather than a large firm. That being said, just make sure you opt for a small firm that specializes in estate plans for people in your specific financial situation. You should also keep in mind that you’ll likely spend more going to a lawyer at a small firm who does nothing but estate planning. The good thing about such lawyers is they have more knowledge on the matter, which you might need if you have a lot of assets, are divorced or have a similar situation.
Involve Your Accountant
Because wills are a personal finance matter, it’s a good idea to bring your accountant in. She or he can give you and your lawyer a better idea of the type of trust you need while planning your estate. Because trusts can be rather expensive, you want a financial expert to help ensure you’re taking all the necessary steps.
Take the time necessary to create a will as you’re getting your financial house in order. While you might not like the added expense of paying for a will, your loved ones are sure to appreciate your foresight.