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

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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