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It's no denigration of death, or life, for you to be concerned with the wisest, most desirable distribution of your property. Writing a will is an act of concern, or love, to ensure that the people and organizations you care for receive the property you want them to have. Discussing your wishes with close family members, if you choose to do so, can be worthwhile. Most couples discuss their wills with each other.

You may want to discuss your will with other people, particularly close family members who are your beneficiaries. Of course, you don't have to discuss the contents of your will with anyone.

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Haven't we all seen some Hollywood potboiler where the will of the deceased is read to the shock or dismay of would-be inheritors and perhaps the executor as well? I suggest that in real life it's often wise to go further. Before making final decisions about your will, candor is often sensible for several reasons, ranging from the pleasure of letting people know what they'll inherit to clearing up confusion to reducing tensions.

Maybe you'll learn how much two children really love and want that heirloom artwork. Or perhaps you'll learn that nobody cares that much. Isn't it better to know the desires of your loved ones before you write your will, or at least let people know what you intend to do? Most of this book is devoted to the mechanics of will preparation. How to Get the Most From This Book You may be tempted, especially if you think your situation is uncomplicated, to skip most of this book and go straight to the fill-in-the-blank wills.

After all, filling in those blanks doesn't look too hard, does it? I urge you to you slow down and take advantage of the information in the book first.

Nolos Simple Will Book

The book's chapters are designed to be read sequentially. They start with some important background material about wills and pertinent state property laws, and then cover inventorying your property. Then you'll be ready to move to the core of will writing: choosing your beneficiaries your inheritors , choosing your executor the person who carries out the will's terms , and providing for any minor children you have, including nominating someone to raise them in the event you and their other parent can't.

This is a workbook. Don't be afraid to mark up this book.

Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce

Many readers find that it helps them to write down facts, make notes and record decisions as they proceed through the book. A number of worksheets are provided to aid you with this process. You may want to tear them out they're perforated , or photocopy them and work on the copies.

It's up to you to decide how much you want to use them. So take out a pencil, eraser and some scratch paper, and get ready. After you've read through the material that applies to your personal situation, tackle the will forms. The book gives you two ways to prepare a will.


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Sometimes I also refer to this an assemble-the-clauses will. Both the fill-in-the-blank will forms and the create-your-own-will clauses are on the computer disk in the back of this book. You can use a computer to prepare the final version of your will, or type it out on a typewriter. Next, pay close attention to the discussion of the rules that control how you must make your will valid under state law signing and witnessing , and read the suggestions on what to do with your will after it's been finalized. Finally, there's information on estate planning and using lawyers.

Don't wing it. If you jump right to the forms without knowing what you're doing, you're flying blind. For instance, take the issue of naming someone to receive a beneficiary's property if be or she predeceases you. This is called naming an alternate beneficiary. Do you want to bother with this? What do you risk if you don't? Can you name more than one alternate beneficiary for the same gift? Clearly, it's better to know what your choices are than to decide by hunch or guess. It's really not very demanding to go through this book and grasp the information you need.

That will take a little time probably less than you expect but will be well worth it. Will You Need a Lawyer? Most people can draft their own will without any aid except this book. The will-making process doesn't inherently necessitate a lawyer. After all, for most people, making a will involves absolutely no conflict with others, which is the most common reason for hiring an attorney. No state law requires that a will be prepared or approved by a lawyer. In reality, only occasionally does a will require the sort of complex legal maneuvering that can necessitate a lawyer's skills.

This book alerts you when drafting your will may require a lawyer's assistance.


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Wills have been a part of Anglo-American law for hundreds of years, in more or less the same basic form. For centuries, self-help was the rule in this country and lawyer assistance the exception. Even as late as the Civil War, it was unusual for a person to hire a lawyer to write a will. How to prepare your will ; Will clauses -- [Pt. Making your will legal. Signing and witnessing your will ; 'Self-proving' wills: using a notary public ; After your will is completed -- [Pt. Changing or revoking your will. Revising your will or revoking it ; Making simple changes in your will by codicil ; Revoking your will -- [Pt.

Estate planning. Probate ; Probate avoidance methods ; Estate taxes ; Placing controls on property ; Planning for incapacity: durable powers of attorney -- [Pt. Lawyers and doing your own legal research. Working with a lawyer ; Doing your own research ; Legal information online. You are browsing titles by their Library of Congress call number classification.

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Information from the Web Learn more about where we find additional information on the web. Checking the Web Library Staff Details Staff view. Keyboard Shortcuts Close Available anywhere? Shortcut help message s Highlight search box esc Close dialog. More related to child custody. See more. Deedra Hunter, M.

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You never wanted to be in this position, but you are. Now, faced with the prospect of a custody dispute, you need to make smart choices. Winning Custody can help. It offers advice on how to navigate the complicated legal maze of the custody process, giving step-by-step guidance on: -How to find a good-and affordable-lawyer -What to wear in court it's more important than you might think -How to effectively communicate with you ex -How to parent your child firmly, lovingly, and consistently throughout the crisis period -How to defuse your fears of losing your children -And how to love and believe in yourself during this most difficult time.

Nolo's Deposition Handbook

Ellen Shaker. I believe most of marry with the assumption this person is our forever partner. Often our ideals of forever are cut short by divorce While I hope divorce is never a part of your life, it seems we have grown to give marriage little regard.

The shortcomings that lie deeply within us often manefest themselves when we are tested by the pressures of divorce. It can be easy to loose sight of what's most important. When we make descisions in an attempt to hurt our spouse, we are in fact asking our children to experience things we should ask of no child. We are often so hurt by the prospect of divorce that we loose ourselves in that hurt. And in fact use our children as pawns in the chess match of divorce.

We must all try to remember though no longer each other's partner, we will always be partners in the lifes of your children.