How do I go about setting up a will? Can you just set get a kit and sign it with witnesses?
Me and my partner are currently purchasing a property (first time) and have not got wills set up as yet. How do we go about it?
You pose an interesting question because you mention that you are purchasing the property with your partner, as opposed to a spouse. I don’t know what partner is defined as, whether you are referring to a gay partner, a business partner or simply your opposite-sex non-married partner, however, in any of these cases, I would recommend going a step beyond a do-it-yourself will kit. This is not an area that should be left open to chance.
The ultimate purpose of a will or trust is to kick in at your death and give direction to the distribution of your estate. That being the case, if you are unmarried at the time of your passing but have a partner as defined above, your partner could face significant problems at that time with only a will in place.
What I would recommend is a meeting with a local attorney who specializes in trusts/estate plans. I’m assuming from what you said that you are purchasing this property jointly, the attorney can set something up for each of you that would protect either of you in the event the other passes. A trust is a private document that doesn’t need to be filed, so no one can meddle in your business like they can with a will. A trust will cost you a little more than a will, however, it’s more powerful and worth every penny down the road when it allows significant assets in your estate to bypass probate. (A good trust will cost you roughly $1,300 – $1,600 depending on your assets.)
The trust will also include powers of attorney that will give each other rights in a situation where if one of you becomes mentally and/or physically unable to make decisions, it will also include documents which will allow each of you to specify your preferences when it comes to life support. The trust also includes a pour-over will which covers anything you do not mention specifically.
Miranda Sings Magic Kit
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