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Ask Our Lawyer - January 2002

January 2002

Question: You keep asking if I have a will. I don't. Do I really need one? How much would it cost?

Answer: Almost everyone has asked if they need a will. For several years, the ABATE Legal Services team has attempted to answer that question by having ABATE Legal Services staff members at the State meetings, ready to do wills for ABATE members.

A will is a powerful yet relatively simple document. A will is your way of letting your heirs and the courts know to whom you wish your property to go after you pass on. If you don't make decisions about the care of your children or the disposition of your property, the state will make those choices for you. Since ABATE members generally have a better idea of what to do with their stuff than the government does, it makes sense to have a will.

Wills allow you to determine who will take care of your children. If you have minor children, you can select the person who will become of the guardian of those children, as well as who will maintain the assets of your estate for the benefit of those children.

Finally, a will allows you to determine who will get your stuff. It's your chance to say who gets your bike, your car, your tools or your doll collection. Many of us have sour memories of fights within families over the possessions of relatives who have passed on. This is your chance to make those decisions beforehand, and to prevent those disagreements from fracturing your family.

Best of all, wills for ABATE members are free as a service of ABATE Legal Services. All you need to do is contact our office a 1-800-25-RIDER. We will send you information on your will and a questionnaire for you to complete. Once that has been returned to our office, we will draft the will and send it to you for signature. It's that easy. If making that phone call is too time-consuming for you, stop by the ABATE Legal Services desk at the state meeting. ABATE Legal Services staff will be there to answer your questions and prepare your wills on the spot.

If you have any questions you would like to ask the lawyer, please submit them to: ASK OUR LAWYER, P.O. Box 2850, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2850.