Author Topic: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?  (Read 1558 times)

downer

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • This heaven gives me migraine.
  • CHE Posts: 7500
Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« on: November 11, 2019, 05:26:59 AM »
I hate lawyers and don't like being around them. (It's not personal. I just hate the profession.) This has been one of the factors in my procrastinating in making a will and doing POA in case I become incapacitated. I don't have kids. My estate is reasonably simple. I have people who are willing to be executors and act as POA.

My investments and bank accounts are already designated to go to relatives on my death. So the only thing that really needs sorting out is my house. On my death, it will need to be sold -- supposing I still own it then. I am tempted to sell up and move in the next few years.

I've looked at web pages describing free or cheap options, so I have a good idea what it involves. I'm just wondering if others have experience of avoiding going to a lawyer and using other options. I expect that there are some horror stories, but then there are also horror stories with using regular lawyers. I will be dead, so I don't care that much, but I'd like to make it pretty easy for those who stand to inherit and who are executing the instructions.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

flyingbison

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 08:05:42 AM »
My state provides a template for a simple will, as well as standard forms for POA, healthcare POA, and disposition of remains.  I have used all of these.  They haven't been tested yet, but it is difficult to imagine any legal problems when using the state's own legal forms. 

ciao_yall

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1891
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 08:22:31 AM »
Do take everyone's advice and get it done. It had been weighing on us, but was then such a relief knowing our assets would not be abused if something happened to us.

pgher

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 217
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 09:19:39 AM »
My state provides a template for a simple will, as well as standard forms for POA, healthcare POA, and disposition of remains.  I have used all of these.  They haven't been tested yet, but it is difficult to imagine any legal problems when using the state's own legal forms.

A will can be whatever you want, but I think POA is supposed to be the state form. At least when we did ours, the lawyer just filled out the standard form and walked us through the Q&A to check the right options. Our will is more complex than that.

nebo113

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2019, 11:32:17 AM »
I investigated doing it on my own, and am glad I went to a lawyer.  Things were more complicated than I realized.

fourhats

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 194
  • CHE Posts: 570
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 05:04:57 PM »
Just do it. There are good lawyers out there who will have your best interests at heart.

secundem_artem

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 403
  • A modest man with much to be modest about.
  • CHE Posts: 2347
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 05:07:32 PM »
We generally use a lawyer for these things but a few years ago, I was going to be out of the country for 6 months on sabbatical and wanted Mrs Artem to be able to file our taxes, do the banking etc in my absence.  We used Legal Zoom for about $35 to create a POA.  They claim all their forms are approved by a lawyer, for whatever that's worth.  Not sure I'd use them for anything more complicated
Funeral by funeral, the academy advances

fast_and_bulbous

  • also, a tin teardrop
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
  • computational meteorologist
  • CHE Posts: \_(ツ)_/
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 05:20:41 PM »
My wife and I did our wills a couple years ago. We hired a lawyer and it cost about $1k for the whole deal - specifying multiple POA (and sending letters to each of them to get a signature), instructions for funerary stuff (ashes, coffin etc.), instructions of when to pull the plug, etc. I didn't want to mess things up with the online services. It helped that the lawyer we used came highly recommended from somebody we trusted. I want to make things as easy as possible for whoever has to clean up my corpse and collections of crap etc... no kids.
I wake up every morning with a healthy dose of analog delay

clean

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1103
  • CHE Posts: 5416
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 05:24:50 PM »
Check your employer's HR page to see if you have access to an Employee Assistance Program.  You may be able to get a simple will done for free with little difficulty.  I had my will done through the EAP. The plan wanted to send me a will kit, but I insisted on seeing an attorney, so it took a bit longer to get arranged, but it got done.  (and at no cost to me!)
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

downer

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • This heaven gives me migraine.
  • CHE Posts: 7500
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 05:39:37 PM »
Check your employer's HR page to see if you have access to an Employee Assistance Program.  You may be able to get a simple will done for free with little difficulty.  I had my will done through the EAP. The plan wanted to send me a will kit, but I insisted on seeing an attorney, so it took a bit longer to get arranged, but it got done.  (and at no cost to me!)

Thanks. That does get me a free copy of Quicken Willmaker. I will check it out.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4042
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 06:19:58 PM »
Get a medical POA and a financial POA as well that can kick in when you're temporarily or otherwise incapacitated.  They'll figure out something when you're dead.  You want to make your wishes known now with people who can arrange your care.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

downer

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • This heaven gives me migraine.
  • CHE Posts: 7500
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 06:25:39 PM »
Get a medical POA and a financial POA as well that can kick in when you're temporarily or otherwise incapacitated.  They'll figure out something when you're dead.  You want to make your wishes known now with people who can arrange your care.

I debated whether I should a standing POA or a springing POA. The advice I got was that it can be a lot more difficult to enact a springing POA. If I don't really trust the people I'm choosing for a standing POA, they should not be chosen at all.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4042
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2019, 05:33:44 AM »
Get a medical POA and a financial POA as well that can kick in when you're temporarily or otherwise incapacitated.  They'll figure out something when you're dead.  You want to make your wishes known now with people who can arrange your care.

I debated whether I should a standing POA or a springing POA. The advice I got was that it can be a lot more difficult to enact a springing POA. If I don't really trust the people I'm choosing for a standing POA, they should not be chosen at all.

We were told specifically by multiple sources to get a springing POA for financial and medical issues and make a bazillion copies to put on file now with the relevant institutions and people.  The horror stories from the locals about closer blood relatives (the people the state say get notified) showing up to the hospital to take control over the people one would actually want making decisions over an unconscious body were much more compelling than the idea that we had to give POA right now to someone.

In fact, our POAs come with an additional signing sheet so we could invoke before going into surgery or doing something else risky with a revocation clause upon being safe on the other side.

We don't have enough money for anyone to want to declare us incompetent, but we do regularly drive and walk down stairs so that it's possible to end up needing someone to be able to be activated as having POA.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

downer

  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • This heaven gives me migraine.
  • CHE Posts: 7500
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2019, 06:04:55 AM »
Get a medical POA and a financial POA as well that can kick in when you're temporarily or otherwise incapacitated.  They'll figure out something when you're dead.  You want to make your wishes known now with people who can arrange your care.

I debated whether I should a standing POA or a springing POA. The advice I got was that it can be a lot more difficult to enact a springing POA. If I don't really trust the people I'm choosing for a standing POA, they should not be chosen at all.

We were told specifically by multiple sources to get a springing POA for financial and medical issues and make a bazillion copies to put on file now with the relevant institutions and people.  The horror stories from the locals about closer blood relatives (the people the state say get notified) showing up to the hospital to take control over the people one would actually want making decisions over an unconscious body were much more compelling than the idea that we had to give POA right now to someone.

In fact, our POAs come with an additional signing sheet so we could invoke before going into surgery or doing something else risky with a revocation clause upon being safe on the other side.

We don't have enough money for anyone to want to declare us incompetent, but we do regularly drive and walk down stairs so that it's possible to end up needing someone to be able to be activated as having POA.

Is it possible to do a POA that gives limited power, paying bills, mortgage, medical expenses, and not allowing transfers of funds to others on a large scale?

I had POA for one of my parents in the UK, which was unlimited power. The main concern there was that the government would be concerned about misuse of funds, and tax authorities also had some oversight.
"Change takes courage." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

flyingbison

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Making a will and doing POA -- cheap and easy options?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2019, 06:16:12 AM »

Is it possible to do a POA that gives limited power, paying bills, mortgage, medical expenses, and not allowing transfers of funds to others on a large scale?


Check your state POA form.  Mine has a checklist for 13 different areas of responsibility that can be selected (or not), as well as place for specific instructions to be listed.