There is probably no area in the law that is shrouded in misinformation than that of wills and matters succession. Yet, this is perhaps the most straightforward area in the law. The cost of making a will could vary from as little as $ 0 to as high as $ 1, 500. The cost of a will varies depending on your situation, complexity of the property and the options that you choose to prepare a will. Continue reading below to understand what is a will , why it is needed and the factors involved to understand how much does a will cost.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that spells out the desire of an individual, legally referred to as a testator, on how their property should be parceled out upon their death. The testator may appoint an executioner whose task is to manage the properties until they are finally in the hands of a beneficiary. In the absence of an executioner, the state, via a probate court will appoint an administrator to manage the properties, legally known as the estate. There are different types of wills and a few are listed below:
*Holographic will -The will that is hand written and signed by the testator. This type of wills are often created in emergency situations, such as when the testator is alone, trapped, and near death
*Self proved-That which is formally prepared with affidavits of witnesses. There will be a sworn statement from the witnesses who watched the will-maker sign the will.
*Oral -That which is a spoken testimony in the presence of witnesses. This will will be made during a person’s “last sickness”, and written by the witnesses within a specified amount of time after the testator’s death.
Why do I need a will?
In a nutshell, you need the will to ensure that matters succession are seamless. If one dies in the absence of a will the state is called upon to intervene and this disposition of property (legally referred to as intestacy) could disenfranchise likely beneficiaries.
For instance, some jurisdictions will divide an Property equally between a living spouse and children. Similarly, some jurisdictions could appoint a guardian for one’s children or an administrator on behalf of minors (even in the presence of a living spouse). Lastly, claimants could arise to lay a stake on your property and surprisingly they may have a legitimate claim all of which slows down the process of parceling out your property. To mitigate tensions and fall outs among beneficiaries you do will stating clearly how your property should be divided. Now let’s understand how much does a will cost.
How Much Does a Will Cost
One reason that people shy away from making wills is that they deem costs to be prohibitive. Again, this is borne from misinformation. The cost of making a will could vary from as little as $ 0 to as high as $ 1, 500. The cost varies depending on your situation, complexity of the property and the options that you choose to prepare a will. The variance in the cost of a will is expounded upon as below.
Writing Will Yourself
The minimum expensive way to prepare a will is writing the will by yourself. You can take help of free samples available online or from any relatives wills as a guide. This can help you form your own will without forcing you to spend any money.
Using Will Templates
There are ready-made will templates available for do-it-yourself both online and offline, though it is not the same as hiring a professional. A ready-made form can help you create a basic straight forward will that meets your state validity guidelines without exceeding your budget. These sample templates can cost as little as $10 to $20 for a basic will, while complete fill-in-the-blank templates average around $100 to $500, depending on the complication of your personal situations.
Hiring an Attorney
Hiring an attorney to draft a will is believed to be one of the more expensive options, but it is not quite as costly as many believe. A basic will could cost as little as $100 to $150 for an attorney to complete including your consultation and final review. This is same as the cost of using online template. However the attorney charges depends on your situation and the complexity of the asset. The more complex your assets or situations, the more you will be charged for an attorney service. You can expect to pay up to $1,500 for a complex situation with significant assets. Note that you are not simply paying for the will itself, you are paying for the benefits of having a qualified expert evaluate and protect your wealth. The legal bill that you are presented with here when going this route will depend on the prestige of the firm that draws up the will plus any services that they may be called upon to do apart from drafting the will.
Hope this article was helpful to understand how much does a will cost. Mull over the content of this article and safeguard your interests.