Wills

How do I go about doing a will? Do I have to go to a lawyer, or can I write up something myself and have it notarized? If I do go to a lawyer, how much will it cost?

I don’t have a lawyer, I have only needed one once and I didn’t really like the guy personally, and I’d like to avoid another lawyer if that is possible.

Basically, I’m a single person, never marrried, with no children or other dependents, and I don’t want to do anything complicated like will every single piece of my property to different people (i.e. none of this: “My diamond earrings go to my cousin, my sapphire necklace goes to my niece”), I want a simple will leaving all my stuff to one person.

Any advice?

You will have to check with the laws of your state, Boscibo, but this site provides some basic information.

Don’t just try to “wing it:” wills must meet certain legal requirements, and if the stuff you write up doesn’t pass muster, it’ll just be tossed out of probate court.

If you just want to do a simple will, you don’t need a lawyer. You can do it yourself, as long as you’re not trying to name guardians for your minor children, set up complicated “to X, but if X doesn’t marry before 21, then to Y” kind of stuff. But to do it yourself, you need to know how to do it right.

Best source: www.nolo.com, which has all sorts of information. It would be worth it to buy one of their books on doing your own will - I’ve found their stuff to be excellent. Also check with your local library. They’ll almost certainly have a legal forms book for your state, which has all of the tried-and-true clauses for things like wills (i.e., the verbiage that has been tested by various court cases, and has stood the test of time).

Another good option is to get a copy of the will of a friend or relative (also somebody in WI, just to be sure), a will that was prepared by a lawyer, and just copy it, changing things to match your situation.