Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

I want to make changes to my Will. Is it necessary to hire an attorney or can I fill out the legal forms myself?

Asked on 7/03/13, 1:39 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office also dba Glen Ashman Attorney

Wills are NOT done with forms. There is NO standard Georgia form, and generic forms on the internet lack state-specific language that can simpligy probate.

Even a minor mistake, a single word, can cost your heirs dearly in legal fees and a bad outcome. Why would you even consider risking that? A properly done will package, which like will also include your POA and Health Directive, and invaluable advice as to tweaks to your insurance and retirement can cost as little as a few hundred dollars done right with a lawyer.

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Answered on 7/03/13, 4:20 pm

I agree with Attorney Ashman. There are no forms for a will. There are do-it-yourself will kits from various sites like Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer and Nolo, however, I have looked at some of these and I find that they are not a substitute for having a will or codicil done by an attorney. And if you have anything which takes you out of the normal situation (blended families, step-children, more complicated living situations (domestic partners), divorce or possible disinheritance of children), I would strongly recommend you see a lawyer and not use the forms.

While Attorney Ashman is exaggerating a bit his point is well taken. I have seen too many situations where a person thinks they will save a few bucks by doing it themselves and they end up doing something wrong and leaving their loved ones a lawsuit instead of a bequest. Don't let this happen to you.

What is the nature of the change? If its relatively minor (like you want to change the percentages of a bequest or the executor), you can probably use a codicil. If there is more extensive changes, I would suggest having your will re-done.

In addition to a will or codicil, you should have a financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney/advance directive as noted by Attorney Ashman. GA actually combines the healthcare proxy and living will.

I can do the work for a reasonable fee. Please email me at [email protected] if interested.

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Answered on 7/04/13, 12:48 am

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