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I am an only child and my parents need a will, but they can't afford it. What steps do I take to make it legal if I do it myself

East Dublin, GA |

My Parents do not have alot of personal items. Just a house and car and a little money. I will be the executor of the will and everything goes to one or the other and i am the beneficiary when both pass away. If i do the will myself, what steps do i take to make it legal and binding?

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Attorney answers 3


You can't make a will for your parents unless you're a lawyer: that would probably be the unauthorized practice of law. Many states recognize simple "form" wills, though. You can get blank forms from a legal stationery store, and the person fills them out himself. You do have to make sure they're signed with the correct number of witnesses, etc. The form instructions should say what's required in your state. (Watch out: the laws for will execution vary from state to state, so you have to make sure you get forms and instructions that are valid for Georgia!)

In the simple situation you describe, it's possible that the Georgia intestacy ("without a will") laws will work for you. But your safest bet is, of course, to hire a lawyer. With a simple estate, it should be relatively inexpensive to prepare wills for your parents.

Good luck.


Please do not attempt to do this yourself and do not use internet forms. You say your parents can not afford it, but perhaps you can pay for it. Talk to friends and make some calls to find an experienced estate planning attorney. This will avoid a lot of problems later and it may not be as expensive as you think.

Hope this helps.
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Although I don't know the laws in Georgia and I am not licensed to practice there, if one of your parents dies without a will, his or her estate will pass by "intestate succession" according to Georgia's laws. The surviving spouse and the child/ren would share the estate. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the surviving child/ren inherit if there is no will.

But if you check with some local estate planning lawyers, I think you'll find that the cost of preparing a simple will is fairly reasonable. And that way, you can be certain the estate will pass the way your parents want it to.

It may cost more to have a revocable trust prepared, but it might be cheaper in the long run if probate costs are high in your state.

At least look into these things before you make decisions that can't be undone.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.