How much does a will cost? This is usually the first question someone ask me after finding out I write wills. The answer is, it depends on what you mean by a simple will. What I consider a simple will should only cost around $150 to $200 dollars. For a married couple that both want nearly identical wills, then add only an extra $50 to $100.
What is a simple will though? To me, there isn’t a fine line. I can only decide if your will is simple after speaking with you. Do you have a child you don’t trust with money? Perhaps you need a spend thrift trust to make sure they don’t blow through their inheritance. Do you have a beloved pet you want to ensure is taken well care of? Maybe you will need a pet trust. Is there someone you want to take care of that isn’t capable of taking care of themselves? Then perhaps consider a special needs trust. These are usually only things that I can suss out after speaking with you in a private settings and not while chit chatting in line at the gas station or while watching a game.
Another problem though is that a will isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. The will only takes care of what happens after you have died. We should all be so lucky that we pass in our sleep at an old age.
You also need to consider an advanced medical directive and a durable power of attorney. The advance directive helps guide your doctor in treating you should you no longer be capable of expressing your wishes. Would you want to be on life support for an extended period of time? Are blood transfusions against your personal religious beliefs? The durable power of attorney allows a trusted person to handle your finances should you no longer be capable, such as accessing your bank account in order to pay your property taxes or Fidos vet bill.