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QUESTION ON WILLS

 
 
Reply Tue 16 May, 2006 06:05 pm
If someone knows, please answer the following question.

Is it better for a married couple to have a joint will, or separate wills?

Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,300 • Replies: 9
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 May, 2006 08:21 pm
I'm not a lawyer but, frankly, I've never heard of a joint will. Normally, I believe, each partner makes out his/her own individual will.
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jespah
 
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Reply Wed 17 May, 2006 10:24 am
There are definitely joint wills.

And, the answer is, without having any additional information, it depends. How long have they been married? Are there any children? Are there any children from previous marriages or with different parents, due to affairs or premarital relationships? Any real estate? Real estate outside of the state or country? Stocks and other financial holdings? Adopted children? Persons being cared for under guardianships (aged parents, perhaps a developmentally disabled sibling)? Are finances kept separate or commingled? What are the couple's goals in making a will - to care for loved ones, contribute to an alma mater or charitable cause, or what? Is this a stable couple, or have they been separated in the past, either legally or informally?

Preparing wills is a complex matter and cannot be answered in a quickie one-off manner.
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Advocate
 
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Reply Thu 18 May, 2006 01:48 pm
I bought some will-preparation software. Does anyone have thoughts on this?
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Debra Law
 
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Reply Thu 18 May, 2006 02:54 pm
My thoughts: Estate planning is a legally complex endeavor that takes into consideration a multitude of individual variables and goals. Anyone who is serious about estate planning ought to retain the services of an estate lawyer and stay away from do-it-yourself devices.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 May, 2006 03:14 pm
IMO will-preparation software is useful to lawyers. It can be a timesaver, obviating the need to manually type in every word. Laypeople should stay away from stuff they don't fully understand.
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Thu 18 May, 2006 09:05 pm
I've never used will-preparation software.
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jespah
 
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Reply Mon 22 May, 2006 09:55 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
IMO will-preparation software is useful to lawyers. It can be a timesaver, obviating the need to manually type in every word. Laypeople should stay away from stuff they don't fully understand.


It's more or less unnecessary, any large or medium-sized law firm has better stuff than this built into their IT package.
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Mon 22 May, 2006 12:00 pm
Advocate wrote:
I bought some will-preparation software. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

I think that, for a simple estate, will preparation software would be fine. Most people, after all, divide everything up in their wills about the same way that the state would divide it up in the event that they didn't have wills. On the other hand, if it gets more complicated than "I leave everything to my spouse and kids," or if there would be major tax consequences involved, then you'd be better off engaging the services of a competent attorney.
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Advocate
 
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Reply Mon 22 May, 2006 12:29 pm
Most of us have some complications regarding a living will, power of attorney, and, possibly, a trust should both die at the same time.
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