This estate planning 101 series will take you through some of the basic concepts and help you decide if and/or when you need to get on board with seeing an attorney to draft your docs.
What it is:
Wills outline your wishes for the assets that you do own at your passing. Do you want your home/car/bank account/Samsung LCD/signed Bieber poster to go to your parents or your spouse or your brother? Typically, you do not need to list out everything you own and who you want it to go to, unless you have very specific wishes about a few very specific items. If you do not have a will, your assets will immediately go to your first family member: Spouse/child/parents/siblings.
When to get it:
Absolute must when you have a child. Strong suggestion when you get married. It doesn’t hurt to get one out of college.
Where to get:
Online resources such as www.legalzoom.com are likely appropriate for simple wills and before complications of marriage and children. After that, I would typically suggest seeing a younger, lower-priced estate attorney to help you draft.
Don’t pay more than $800 for a will by an attorney. Purchasing one online will cost about $300. You can also get a Will done free online.
Part B - living will and healthcare power of attorney.