If there is one thing that having surgery is guaranteed to make you think about, it is writing a will. It’s natural. In T’s case, her fears made it imperative. Ordinarily, I would have gone on line to get the necessary documents and then taken them down to our local notary and we’d be done. But since T has an estate to pass on, we took the next step first and went to our lawyer. It was only after we had discussed the terms and chosen to have him prepare her last will, a durable power of attorney, and a declaration of a living trust that we were confronted with the cost of taking this route. $1800 seemed steep but the costs of probate are a hell of a lot steeper. The process of probate can cost anywhere from 4% to 10% depending on the state in which you die. But on top of that we were faced with the fact that in this case making a mistake could be even more expensive.
If you checked out the link above, you’ll know that there is plenty of general information and help available to get you started but ultimately you are still going to end up involving an attorney to make sure your choices and the documentation are a correct match. Don’t get me wrong the online help is a tremendous source but talking to a real person you know and trust and can ask questions is a stress reliever, too.
So here I sit looking at the docs he prepared on the one hand and checking them against the online forms and advice and costs on the other. In a few days, I’ll be posting more about how this turns out.