Many people call my office asking for a Will. They don't know for sure what a Will does for them. They know that they need one, because they heard it or read it somewhere! Do they need one? Maybe or maybe not. Yes, it's a good idea to have one but the Will may not achieve what they are thinking it will do for them. If they are married and co-own all assets with their spouse, everything will go to the surviving spouse without needing a Will. Having a Will does not, necessarily, avoid probate (court process), which surprises many people. Having a Will does not provide asset protection, either. Having a Will is not a plan that will protect you and your family.
If your spouse needs care and you cannot provide it and your spouse ends up needing private care, or being in an assisted living or nursing home, you are paying out $4,000 to $10,000 a month. Can you afford to keep up paying that monthly fee and pay your own household expenses? Do your children have extra income to pay for you, for example, $4,000 to $10,000 a month? It is highly unlikely! What if you have dementia and cannot take care of your finances, will a Will help your family or loved ones take care of your legal and financial matters? No! Absolutely not!
So, the question is not what a Will costs, but will it do what you need it or want it to do for you and your family? Thus, thinking in terms of doing one document, for example, a Will, it is very unlikely to provide you with what you may need. A plan, a well thought out plan, is more likely to help and protect you and your family in case of incapacity or death.
You may think that attorneys want to charge more by drafting more documents. That is not true! If you have a document, the attorney is doing you a disservice by not advising of how incomplete your plan is and how you are leaving yourself exposed to liability and unexpected life circumstances, like being diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's and needing long term care, which you may not be financially strong to pay for in the future. Plus, if you have an attorney draft only a Will and, for example, you have no Power of Attorney, your family will end up paying more to do a guardianship if you become incapacitated or unable to handle your affairs. They will have to pay attorneys' fees, examining committee fees (to determine your capacity), court filing feels, accounting fees for annual reporting, auditing fees, etc.
The real question is what's the low cost of having a Will prepared now versus what it will actually cost you and your family later on in terms of time and expenses in legal proceedings to help you for those events that you never thought it would happen to you!
We are here to advise and counsel you to make sure you understand the pros and cons of your decisions. If you want to protect yourself and your family, call me at 239-529-8731 to help you prepare a plan that will work!