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Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in Estate Planning & Probate Administration | 0 comments

Should I use a Fill-in-the-Blank Last Will and Testament

Should I use a Fill-in-the-Blank Last Will and Testament

I know – it’s tempting.  You’re at the office supply store and while you are strolling down the aisle you notice a little packet gleaming on the shelf.  It’s a Will.  You know you need a will.  Your friends remind you that you need a will.  And now, you see a will form – that’s extremely inexpensive – staring you in the face.  Should you buy it?

I would not recommend using a fill-in-the-blank form for a will. Many states do not allow handwritten wills (known as holographic wills) and those state courts may classify a fill-in-the-blank will as holographic because a portion of the document was handwritten by the testator – the person making the will. If your state takes that position, this form would be a waste of money and useless for its intended purpose.

Should you hire a lawyer?

The cost of a will varies from state to state and town to town.  You can go to LegalZoom and purchase a will package for as little as $69.  If you hire a local attorney to help you with a simple will, you can probably expect to spend a couple hundred dollars.  And, if your estate is extremely complex or the value of your assets are very high possibly subjecting you to Federal estate taxes you can expect to spend more.