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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yes, Virginia, you really do need a will or estate plan

The author of the attached article, Mary Anne Rees, talks about why many people need estate planning advice as opposed to do-it-yourself wills. She raises a very important point - that people believe their affairs are simple when they are not. I sometimes think that people are wilfully blind to the potential problems because they don't want to spend money on a lawyer, or because they suspect they are being tricked into believing simple things are complicated. Or perhaps they don't want to think about how awful it could really be for their families so they pretend everything is alright.

Click here to read Ms. Rees' article, which contains some common sense ideas about will kits as well as other estate planning matters.

In my opinion, will kit wills can be just fine, as long as they are used by the people for whom they are designed. Will kits are not meant to be used by people with blended families, or business owners, or those with insurance policies, rental properties or investments. If your estate contains only a bank account and you have an obviously good candidate to be your executor, you can probably use a will kit.

If you're using a will kit because you're too cheap to pay for legal advice even though you have assets or family members that could create issues, so be it, but your family will pay for this short-sightedness after you pass away.

The attached photo of Ms. Rees is credited to Jonathan Marrs and was found at

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