I have no family to leave my house and money to and I would be donating all to various charities except for a small amount to a niece and grandniece but the majority is charity beneficiaires.
Yes you can create a new will. I would not recommend you use a web site. Please consider at least meeting with an estate planning attorney. Recently, I had a case where the testator did not execute the documents provided by the web site properly. It resulted in his wishes not being honored. Please be careful with online documents.
As my colleagues have indicated, to make sure that your will is carried out precisely as you wish, it is best to have an attorney to prepare it. Or, perhaps one of the charities to whom you intend to leave a bequest can refer you to an attorney who would prepare the will for little cost.
See, the thing about someone on Avvo asking attorneys to recommend a web-site is that WE HAVE NO CLUE which web sites are good and which aren't. Or, not to speak for other attorneys, I HAVEN'T the slightest clue. I do not use them myself, so how would I know? I am an attorney, I prepare my documents based upon: 1) attending law school; 2) learning the law after law school; 3) practicing law for 34+ years; and 4) keeping track of the pertinent laws that relate to the areas of practice in which I am involved.
I am sorry if I am lecturing, and apologize, as I did not mean to offend. But you would be surprised at how many questioners on Avvo ask about websites, or paralegals, or forms to use, forgetting that for the most part, lawyers are in the business of lawyering, not reviewing websites.
Sure, lawyers charge money and more money than a website fee might charge. And, maybe a website would work for you. But if mistakes happen along the way, the consequences might defeat your intentions.
One other thought: to avoid the expense of probate, perhaps spending money now to transfer your assets, even your house, into a trust that you would control, naming the charities, your niece and grandniece as beneficiaries and naming a successor trustee such as a friend or even your niece to make distributions upon your passing. True, you would incur the cost of an attorney to create the trust and transfer the assets, but he effect could be the same and, typically--I do not know what probate attorneys charge in Marion County--less overall than the expense of a probate. There would be no filing fee with the Clerk, for example. Or need to notify creditors. Or publishing notice of the estate in a newspaper. Or having notices sent to your living heirs by certified mail. Or.....
Again, I apologize if I offended you, and yes, I considered deleting it but am letting it go through, as there are important points to be made. Best of luck to you, and a long and healthy life.
You can but its never a good idea. Property law alone is very complex, and the wording required is highly highly specialized. In fact I just redid a will that was self-made and if they hadn't come to see me none of what the parents actually wanted would have happened because of how the property was titled.
Its worth it to spend a little and get an estate plan in place that will work for you, the charities you care about, and your grandniece. You have options and some cool things you can do - so I would recommend sitting down with someone.
Yes and no. Yes, you can start from scratch and make your own will. In fact, simply rewriting the will is often a better option than a codicil, which is basically an amendment to a will. Further, you can write your own will and there are several websites and programs that can help you do this, such as Quicken WillMaker.
However, I would strongly advise against using a program or website to create your will on your own. You might save some money today, but there is no telling how much money would be wasted or mismanaged if your will were to be invalidated, not to mention your wishes not being honored. Additionally, an estate attorney will likely be able to draft a will to suit your needs much more quickly than you would be able to, presumably having never drafted a will.
You may be surprised by how affordable having a will drafted can be. Much of the process can be completed via telephone or email, and drafts and revisions can be reviewed as the process progresses. I offer a free estate planning consultation, and would be happy to give you an estimate after understanding your wishes. I am located in Orlando, but attended law school in Gainesville, have family in Ocala, and drive through town from time to time. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have.
Do it yourself estate planning is a bad idea. It's one of those things you want done right. The stakes are just too great to take any chances to save a little money. Our firm removes is flexible and works with you to ensure that finances aren't the sole reason for avoiding an attorney.
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