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    Question Regarding Wills

    My wife and I have developed our own wills using the Quicken WillMaker software. I realize this is a pretty open question, but is this a safe product to rely on for a relatively simple will or should I find an attorney to look the wills over? Thanks.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    We did ours through an attorney, I am not sure if the do it yourself wills are even legal in Iowa.


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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    In some states you just need a public notary - but I think brian is right - I think you need a bit more than that in Iowa.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    "For each document, Quicken WillMaker Plus takes you through a step-by-step interview. Your documents will automatically reflect the laws of your state. If you have any questions, simply check out the comprehensive onscreen legal manual. Expert tech support is also available."

    Says it reflects the state laws. I would hope that this software is good enough.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Thanks for the advice. I'm just trying to figure out how to setup a will (and possibly a Living Trust) and structure beneficiaries of our life insurance policies appropriately.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    You're probably OK using this to do a will, just make sure that you have two uninterested witnesses also sign it. However, I wouldn't mess with a living trust without talking to a professional to see if it is really worth it (it's not for most people) and getting it done right. Also 99% of people should list people, not their estate, as beneficiaries on life insurance and retirement accounts w/ named beneficiaries.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    If i've established an individual child's trust within my will (contingent beneficiary to my wife), can I list my son as a contingent beneficiary for my life insurance and retirement accounts? I just want to avoid having the insurance company and/or retirement account custodian control the funds for our children in the event my wife and I die simulataneously.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff0514 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I'm just trying to figure out how to setup a will (and possibly a Living Trust) and structure beneficiaries of our life insurance policies appropriately.

    You know we just went through this, It was $750 to have it done, and I am 100% sure it is done correctly. I think it was worth it to have a professional do this one. You may feel differently, but that was money well spent for me.


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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff0514 View Post
    If i've established an individual child's trust within my will (contingent beneficiary to my wife), can I list my son as a contingent beneficiary for my life insurance and retirement accounts? I just want to avoid having the insurance company and/or retirement account custodian control the funds for our children in the event my wife and I die simulataneously.
    Don't you have to assign a power of attorney in that case? Someone to handle the trusts in case you both die and you still have minor children?


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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Get an attorney that specializes in trust/estate/wills. You'll be glad you did - otherwise you're going to be questioning yourself forever about if it's set up correctly.


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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    We did one with the help of a legal services plan offered through my wife's work. It was a payroll deduction of around $15/month, and we signed up for the year and cancelled after that. So we got a will and trust done by an attorney for around $250. For people interested in making a will, but wanting an attorney's involvement, this may be the cheapest way to get it done.


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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    Don't you have to assign a power of attorney in that case? Someone to handle the trusts in case you both die and you still have minor children?
    Power of Attorney only lasts as long as you're alive and doesn't come into play here. There should be language in the child's trust w/in your will as to authorizing the trustee to claim and manage/invest any insurance proceeds left to the kids if both parents die. A trustee and contingent trustee for the kids' trust should be named in your will. The beneficiaries on the insurance should likely be primary to your spouse and contingent to your kids.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    You don't need to seek an attorney for a simple will. In Iowa a one sentence statement giving your belongings to someone will hold up in a court of law if it has a witness signature.

    Even a complicated will with trusts are easy with a willmaker software.



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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by jtaconutz View Post
    You don't need to seek an attorney for a simple will. In Iowa a one sentence statement giving your belongings to someone will hold up in a court of law if it has a witness signature.

    Even a complicated will with trusts are easy with a willmaker software.
    yeah but if you have kids you cannot do a simple will. You cannot just give them all your life insurance, you have to will it to the trust and have the trust take care of their expenses. Like the commercial says, a baby changes everything.


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    Re: Question Regarding Wills

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    You know we just went through this, It was $750 to have it done, and I am 100% sure it is done correctly. I think it was worth it to have a professional do this one. You may feel differently, but that was money well spent for me.
    I just had one done last month and paid $240 for a basic will. We did not do the living will or medical and financial power of attorney at this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    Don't you have to assign a power of attorney in that case? Someone to handle the trusts in case you both die and you still have minor children?
    You don't need to assign power of attorney, but you do need a trustee to make sure the "trust" is established for the kids gets dished out in the manner specified in the will.



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