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Author Topic: Question about Wills.  (Read 5211 times)

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Offline ga1964

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  • Posts: 188
Question about Wills.
« on: January 27, 2011, 02:59:21 PM »
I need to get a Will, but can't afford to have an attorney make one up.  I want to make sure that my partner will recieve all assets of my estate, should something happen to me.   

What I want to know, is there a way to create a Legal Will without an attorney.  I was thinking of makeing a "Video Will" of my final wishes and wanted to know if anyone knew if it would be legal in court?  If anyone knows or has any ideas, please respond back.


Offline richie

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  • Posts: 69
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 11:13:13 PM »
You can indeed do it without an attorney -- but you might also be able to use the free services of a local aids organization. 

The will you choose depends on the State you live in.  Check the internet for free forms.  AND, you should do more than a will.  You should consider the following (I presume you are in a gay relationshp, and I am about to sound like Suze Ormon):

Rollover Will
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney
Living Will

All of these forms should be freely available on the internet, specifically for your State, with a bit of searching. 

The trouble with a will alone is that they are easily challenged by family.  Trusts are not so easy to challenge, if at all.  And if you don't think you already have a will, you really do.  The State has one de facto, and it usually leaves everything to your parents, siblings, etc., etc.  Your partner would have no status at all!  Don't do a video will. 

Offline wolfter

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Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 06:18:18 AM »
You can also check your local library.  With a membership, I'm able to access their web based data base for all the legal forms.  I've assisted many friends.
Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline ga1964

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  • Posts: 188
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 11:13:56 AM »
Thanks for the info.  I'm not worried as far as my family not letting my partner being the beneficiary.  They accept him as my life partner and know that I want him to have everything.  But I would like know that there would not be any hassles for him. 

Thanks again for the info. 

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 12:22:17 PM »
I am glad that you are taking care of this now but Do NOT do a "Do it Yourself Will.
    There are way too many loopholes and problems that will arise if you do. Do not take this lightly.
If you are going to do this, you really really really need legal help.

besides the other things that richie mentioned, include a "no-contest clause"

  One thing you can start doing is gathering a list of the actual values of the items you are wanting to leave to your partner. You can't just say  "I want to leave this or that"  plus it will save time and money with the lawyer.

  the problems that I encountered with my late partner's will took 4 and 1/2 years to final settle

Whatever you may think about the relationship with your family, things change in death. Death causes a lot of irrational behavior for the survivors.

Offline richie

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  • Posts: 69
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 01:10:58 PM »
Thanks for the info.  I'm not worried as far as my family not letting my partner being the beneficiary.  They accept him as my life partner and know that I want him to have everything.  But I would like know that there would not be any hassles for him.  

Thanks again for the info.  

I know I said it in my post, but it bears saying again.  You already have a will.  It's from the State.  And the State says that your parents, brothers/sisters, and other blood relatives are your beneficiaries.  If you die without a will, EVEN IF they know your partner should get everything, he won't.  He cannot.  Even IF your family decided to give your partner property (or worse, land or a house), it would be a gift, and taxes would be due if the value is over $10k or so.  And property titles would be completely screwed up....and on and on.  So definitely get a will, and consider all the other documents mentioned above as well!

And one last thought -- your Partner needs exactly the same -- a will -- as you would have to prove, if he died, that the property in your abode is really yours, not his!  His family could swoop in and say "gimme everything!"


« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 01:13:46 PM by richie »

Offline bearby

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  • Posts: 41
  • April 2007
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 01:48:48 PM »
I think your best bet to avoid family trying to take every thing from him  after u r demise is to have every thing owned jointly ( in both names ).
 I learned that little fact from a "paralegal" / legal secretary long time friend of our's.
 That way with every thing in both names there is not question about who owns it severally or jointly .
 I know of this situation since for years the home my husband & I co-owned was simply in my name solely but when we got an actual mortgage (it had been owner financed the aforementioned years before ) it stated both our names  with the words " right of survivorship" which means that either or would automatialy inherit theresidence with out having to go thru probate to keep the home we both worked so hard to build for our selves .
( husband being an honary title at this time since we can not be legaly wed in this belt buckle of the bible belt red state. )
Have you preformed your random act of kindness today ?

Offline richie

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  • Posts: 69
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 12:53:13 PM »
Bearby --

That's fine for real estate, but it leaves out all other possessions.  It's not possible to title a car that way, or a set of dishes!  At death, all items must be valued, and the family (based on the State will) can demand those assets or funds.   If there's no trust or will, everything is presumed to be owned by the decedent, or at worst, jointly owned, unless there is proof otherwise (specific receipts).  Who keeps receipts for an entire household of items like TVs, chairs, couches, etc., etc.   

Without a trust and will, there is no ability to leave anything to anyone, other than what the State says.



Offline richie

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  • Posts: 69
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011, 11:32:06 PM »

Everyone  interested should read the attached article, kindly written by Anthony Spotora, Esq, of Spotora & Associates.  He sums it up nicely.  Get a will.  Make a Trust.  Etc., etc., etc.  It cannot be said enough!



Offline JR Gabbard

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Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 12:20:29 PM »
Estate planning without an attorney can be very tricky.  Generally, if you have real estate, stock or other securities, or a large amount of cash that you want to pass on, you'll want to hire an attorney to work out the best way to handle the transfers.  If you don't, you risk not having your last wishes honored, and you also risk losing part of it to the estate tax.
If you have a simple estate--household effects, car, personal effects like clothing, collectibles, hobby equipment, small amounts of cash--you might be able to use a holographic will.  This type of will must be written in your own handwriting to be valid, so it is the one that is generally seen as the "do-it-yourself" will.  Even that is deceptive, though, because holographic wills still have strict requirements, and if you don't meet those requirements your will won't be valid.  Also, about half of the states do not recognize holographic wills, so you have to do your research.
Another option is to check with a local ASO to see if the can refer you to a free or low-cost attorney.  Drafting wills was the first response the legal community made to the AIDS epidemic back in the 1980's, and although demand for the service has dropped since then, most ASOs that offer legal services still offer it.
Wills and estates are generally regulated at the state level, and every state has different requirements.  It is essential that you know what your particular state requires before you draft your will. 
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah!

L. Cohen

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Question about Wills.
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 08:32:57 PM »
Excellent information.

"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."


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