People mistakenly believe that an attorney-drafted will is expensive. If one looks around, they can probably find an attorney that will draft a “Simple Will Kit” for $100.00 or less. This price is comparable to commercial “Do It Yourself” wills. The difference is that an attorney-drafted simple will kit usually includes A} the Simple Will, B} a “Living Will,” and C} a Durable Power of Attorney. Commercial wills sell each of those items separately. For most estates under $1.8 million dollars, the Simple Will Kit is sufficient to cover the client’s needs. One can avoid the much more expensive Living Trust option, which has become popular in recent years. The big difference between having an attorney draft your will and purchasing the commercial kits is that the commercial kits are seldom state-specific. With an attorney-drafted will, the client can sit down with the attorney and ask questions and discuss options of how to reduce, or even avoid, probate. Many times, married couples will seek “Mirror Wills.” In Mirror Wills situations, the two wills state the same thing, except the spouses’ names are switched in each will. Therefore, I could take the Wife’s will and read the Husband’s will, merely by switching the names. When the Wife’s will says her name, I read it as if the Husband’s name appears. When the Husband’s name appears, I read the Wife’s name. Since the location of the spouses’ names are the only difference between the two wills, and making a second will with that one change takes only seconds on a computer, many attorneys will either reduce, or waive, the costs of the second Simple Will Kit if both are executed at the same time. The other benefit of an attorney-drafted will, over commercial “fill in the blank” wills, is that the attorney-drafted will reduces the chance a family member will claim the will is fake or coerced, because a third-party drafted the will. (Of course, one can retain an attorney to only draft a part of the Simple Will Kit, such as a Durable Power of Attorney). If you need a will, and live in the Montgomery County, Tennessee area, or wish to travel to Clarksville, Tennessee, call attorney Gregory D. Smith at 931/647-1299 for an appointment.

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