Planning for death isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, but it’s important to do in order to ensure that your loved ones aren’t burdened more than they already will be after you’re gone. Along with setting aside money for your funeral expenses, choosing beneficiaries, and planning your estate, you’ll need to create your last will and testament.
If you’re approaching this process, you might be wondering, “how much does it cost to make a will?” Well, while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, if you know how you’ll approach the process, you can get a rough idea of what your last will and testament will cost to create.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Will Yourself?
When preparing a will, you have two options: do it yourself, or hire an attorney. If you go the DIY route, you can save a great deal of money. However, this option is only suitable for those whose finances are in order and have no children.
Now, you can’t just pull out a piece of paper and jot something down. You’ll still need to purchase a kit, but these can be found for as little as ten dollars. This kit will allow you to create and file a legally enforceable will.
Sounds simple, right? It is, as long as you’re careful to read and understand the legal language before signing any documents. Signing something you don’t fully understand is always a bad idea.
You should also ensure that the kit you’re considering is enforceable in your state, as different states have different guidelines. For example, you might need to have your will notarized or draft it in front of a witness in order for it to be accepted.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Will Made?
Those with a more complex financial or family situation will need to hire an attorney to help them draft their will. Obviously, the average cost of preparing a will is much higher for those who go this route, but the additional cost will be worth it in the long run.
Most lawyers don’t charge per document but per hour. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $400 or more per hour with a lawyer while drawing up your will.
Though the decisions about what happens to your various possessions will remain with you, a lawyer will help you get organized and guide you through the process. Remember, you’re paying for both the will and the legal advice, so don’t be afraid to ask questions when making a will with a lawyer.
After your will has been drafted, you’ll need to store it in a safe place. Using some supplies, such as a will envelope, to house the will itself, then putting the package into a fireproof safe, is preferable.
Don’t Wait to Create Your Will
Depending on your situation, the cost of writing a will might not be cheap. But it’s best to be prepared in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Now that you know a rough answer to “how much does it cost to make a will,” you can start saving if need be. Getting your affairs in order is important, as it will relieve your loved ones of a great deal of stress down the line.
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