Most Popular Frequently Asked Question and Help Topics
How It Works
Why do I need to register?
To help safeguard all confidential client information, we must require you to register and login to enter the MyLegalAffairs™ safe and secure client portal. You can register and start answering questions in the questionnaire without making payment until you are finished.
How do I register?
Simply click the orange “Get Started” button, and on the next page, select the document or package you would like to purchase. Then you will be prompted to register if you are a new client. Registration requires your name, telephone, e-mail address, mailing address, and for you to create a private username and password.
What if I forgot my password?
Not a problem. Click the “Forgot Username or Password?” link at the top-right corner of the MyLegalAffairs™ client portal login page and we will email the username and password to the email you used while registering for MyLegalAffairs™.
How do I change my password?
When logged in to MyLegalAffairs™ safe and secure client portal click on “My Account” in the top menu bar and verify all of your contact information is correct. Under the “Update” button you will see a blue “Click here” to change your password link, then you will be prompted to enter your old password and new password to change it.
I’m not a resident of Maryland. Can I still get my will through you?
Unfortunately, no. Our documents are specific to Maryland state law. Our attorneys are licensed in the state of Maryland and therefore cannot legally endorse any documents outside of the state.
Feel free to Contact Us if you would like us to refer you to an attorney in your home state.
How do I complete my forms online?
There is an easy to follow 5 Step Process.
- Register – Choose a document and register.
- Complete Forms – Fill out the forms related to your document.
- Checkout – Purchase and submit forms.
- Receive Attorney Review – Our attorneys will confirm your wishes.
- Receive Document for Signature – Document finished and ready for signature.
What if I don’t understand a question in the questionnaire?
Throughout the document questionnaire, there are explanations for terms that you may not fully understand. If you would like further explanation on a specific term, please visit our Glossary or feel free to Contact Us.
How are legal documents created?
Our documents are created with the help of Rapidocs® intelligent document automation technology, which starts with an easy-to-use questionnaire. Each question includes further explanation to help you fully understand and answer according to your wishes.
Your document can then be created and reviewed by an attorney. We review spelling, grammar and consistency like the others, but we will also review the documents to make sure they are adequate and appropriate for your unique situation.
The information you enter will be stored securely online, allowing you to access and complete the questionnaire at any time.
What if I have any technical difficulties while on your site?
We do our best to continuously test and improve our website, but if you experience any technical difficulties while you are on our website we want to hear from you.
Please Contact Us, or if the error occurs while logged in to MyLegalAffairs™ click the top-right “Support” link and we will be sure to get back to you with a resolution as quickly as possible.
What if I need a document that isn’t provided on your site?
While GranatWills.com is focused exclusively on simple Maryland estate planning documents, our law office can provide you with a full range of estate and tax planning assistance such as setting up revocable living trusts, special needs trusts, family limited partnerships, and retirement planning. Contact Granat Legal Services, to schedule a free consultation in person or through a virtual meeting online.
What forms of payment are accepted?
GranatWills™ e-commerce is powered by Chase Paymentech™ and accepts all major credit cards including Master Card®, Visa®, American Express® and Discover®.
How much does is it cost?
GranatWills™ is the best of both worlds: giving you the power to create a legally sound document online with the help of attorneys, while keeping the price low.
We offer a variety of document packages, to see the most current pricing please visit the Wills & Powers of Attorney page.
Can I purchase the will over the phone or in person?
To help keep our costs low we require that all Smarter Will™ documents are created using Rapidocs® document automation technology. If you have a unique situation and are unable to utilize our online document solution please Contact Us.
Why do I need an attorney review?
Our attorney-review process goes deeper than checking for spelling errors. If our attorneys spot insufficiencies in your Smarter Will document, we’ll bring it to your attention and offer solutions.
If the validity of your document is questioned after you die, your family can turn to GranatWills to help validate it.
What do you mean by “attorney reviewed”?
Your documents will be reviewed by attorneys. We review spelling, grammar and consistency like the others, but we will also review the documents to make sure they are adequate and appropriate for your unique situation. We also include legal advice in our review, by telephone or email.
Does purchasing my documents through you make me a client of your law firm?
Yes. And that’s a good thing! When you complete the Smarter Will process, you become a client of Granat Legal Services, LLC, which simply means that we have endorsed the document(s) and that you will allow us to send you the reminders and promotions that we offer only to our clients.
What do I need to do when my documents are ready?
Review the document in its entirety and make sure your wishes are clear. Then sign and date the documents in all applicable places in front of two (2) witnesses.
The following persons should NOT be used as a witness:
- Your spouse or children
- Any person who will receive anything or benefit from the Will
- Any person under 18 years old
What formats are the documents available in?
Microsoft Word (.doc) – If you do not have Microsoft Word installed, you can use Word Viewer to open, view, or print documents.
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) – You need the free Acrobat Reader software to view these files. These files are not editable but are good for sharing since they look and print identical on all computers.
Rich Text Format (.rtf) – Simple text format that supports simple effects such as bold type. This format will open on any PC or Mac, but is more difficult to format.
How do I print my documents?
Login to MyLegalAffairs™ through the top-right “Client Login” link. You will see a list of completed documents under the Documents tab. Click on the assembled document and export the document to Microsoft Word (.doc), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) and print the document from the software.
What should I do with my will after I sign it?
After you sign your documents with two “disinterested witnesses” you should store the original documents in a secure location that is accessible for the person that you named as the executor of the will. You should also keep copies of the documents in a safe place, such as your home office, for your personal reference.
Is my will valid if I don’t get it notarized?
Yes. But you need two “disinterested witnesses” upon signing the document. (A “disinterested witness” is someone who is not named as a beneficiary within the legal document itself.) We recommend visiting your local bank to sign and notarize the document with witnesses to help ensure validity. We offer instructions on how to do this as a part of the official document package delivered to our clients.
Do I have to file my documents in public records?
No, you do not have to file your will in public records while you are living. When a will goes to probate court the will is filed with the court and becomes public.
Smart Will Info
How do I ask a question?
We offer several options for you to ask a question.
Visit our Contact Us page and fill out the form to email us or call us at the number listed.
Need legal advice to answer specific questions to your unique situation? You can purchase legal advice time through your MyLegalAffairs™ secure client portal. Login and click on the “Legal Advice” tab to schedule a phone or webcam meeting.
How can I give my feedback?
How do I contact the Smarter Will™ team?
Granat Legal Services, LLC d/b/a
9141 Reisterstown Road
Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
Call Us: 202-618-4596
Business Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Eastern Time )
Please visit the Contact Us page to email us directly.
What hours is the Granat Wills team available?
Monday – Friday 9:00AM – 5 PM EST
Can I visit your law firm for a consultation in person?
When a Will is Not Enough for your unique situation we encourage you to call us 202-618-4596 to request a free, no obligation, consultation.
How can I check the status of my order?
Login in to MyLegalAffairs™ and click on the documents tab to view the status of your documents.
How quickly will my documents arrive?
We will have your attorney reviewed documents uploaded to your secure MyLegalAffairs™ client portal within two business days.
How can I change/cancel my order?
You can change your order by logging in to MyLegalAffairs™ client portal and selecting the active document under the document tab.
You can cancel your Granat Wills documents within 3 days of purchase for a full refund. Do not sign the document until all of your wishes are met and you are satisfied.
Can I ask for a refund on my will if I’m not satisfied?
You can cancel your Granat Wills documents within 3 days of purchase for a full refund. Do not sign the document until all of your wishes are met and you are satisfied.
How long can I make changes to my will after I am finished?
GGranat Wills™ offers free changes to your documents for up to one year. Of course, when your situation changes (a birth or death in the family, for instance), you will want to revise your wishes, so then you can revoke or amend your documents and we will be here to help.
Website Safety and Security
Is this website secure?
Granat Wills™ uses a secure client portal called MyLegalAffairs™ and document automation software called Rapidocs® which utilize the same level of protection and security that is required for United States banks and national insurance companies.
MyLegalAffairs™ provides an integrated system that allows authorized parties in and keeps everyone else out through the use of:
- Firewalls to prevent unauthorized access.
- SSL encryption to keep documents secure.
- U.S. government-standard 128-bit AES encryption.
- Site certificates to verify server identities.
- Secure IDs to verify user identity.
- Windows security to keep network logins locked up.
- Intrusion protection against login attempt and unauthorized transmissions.
- Off-site data storage.
What is Rapidocs?
Rapidocs® is the document automation technology that allows Smarter Will™ to safely and securely create online legal documents. Rapidocs® software starts with a questionnaire asking you a series of easy-to-answer questions. Based on your answers to these questions your document is tailored to your circumstances.
Wills & Powers of Attorney
What is a last will?
A legal instrument used to direct the disposition of the will creator’s property upon death. Also names an executor and a guardian for dependents.
What happens to my children and assets if I die without a will?
If you die without a will your property will be distributed according to Maryland intestacy law and will pass to your closest relatives.
As for the guardianship of your children, the court may choose your closest relative that in the judge’s discretion is able and willing to handle this role, and this person may not be the person you would have chosen.
For more information read Why You Need a Will in Maryland.
How long will my legal documents remain valid?
When you sign your Granat Wills documents per the instructions included in your packet, they will remain legally valid until you revoke or amend them. Of course, when your situation changes (a birth or death in the family, for instance), you will want to revise your wishes. When you become a client of ours, we do our best to remind you to update your Granat Wills documents periodically.
If I don’t have children or many assets, do I still need a will?
Yes. See our section Why You Need a Will in Maryland.
What happens if I forget to update my will after I have another child or I get married or divorced?
Probate court will decide who the guardian of your new child should be and may choose your closest relative to fulfill this role. If you get married or divorced the court will decide who will inherit your property. It is very important that your documents are updated to reflect the changes in your life.
Can I change or revoke my will?
Yes, Granat Wills™ offers free changes to your documents for up to one year. Of course, when your situation changes (a birth or death in the family, for instance), you will want to revise your wishes, so then you can revoke or amend your documents and we will be here to help.
If I already have a trust, do I still need a will?
Yes. However, most living trusts already include a will. Review your existing documents carefully to avoid duplicating.
Who is liable if the court or any individuals question the legality of my will after I pass away?
Your estate is liable for the legal expenses necessary to defend your will. If you think it is a possibility that your will may be contested, it would be wise to let the attorneys at Granat Wills, know because a simple will may not be the best option for you. You may need additional planning.
Will my will go to probate court?
Yes, a will has no legal effect outside of the court system. You cannot just go into a bank and show them a will and expect that the money will be transferred. Probate court will give your Will legal effect and a judge will make sure that your wishes are fulfilled. There are ways to legally avoid this process. See When a Will is Not Enough.
What happens with my pension, life insurance and joint accounts when I die?
Accounts that have a beneficiary designation pass outside of the probate court system. These assets will be transferred to the beneficiary listed. Please check your beneficiary designations regularly to ensure that these assets will be transferred to the people that you intended. Also, assets that you own in Joint Tenancy with another individual will be transferred automatically to that person upon your death, without going to probate court.
What is a living will?
A living will is a legal document that a person uses to clearly state his or her wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments such as artificial life support. It can also be referred to as an advance directive or health care directive.
When does the living will take effect?
A living will takes effect in Maryland when the patient’s attending physician verifies in writing that the patient has a terminal condition as a part of the medical record.
What form do I use to make sure doctors will pull the plug?
In a living will a person can set out their wishes about what life-prolonging treatment should be used or withheld if he or she is unable to communicate those wishes.
Health Care Power of Attorney
What is a health care power of attorney?
A Maryland health care power of attorney also known as a durable power of attorney for health care gives a loved one the right to determine medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to do such as when you are temporarily incapacitated or seriously ill.
Do I need my father’s consent to make a power of attorney for him?
Yes, your father would need to be fully capable to understand the power of attorney rights he would be handing over to you.
If your father’s mental capacity is unable to execute the power of attorney you can go to court and ask a judge to appoint you as his conservator or adult guardian. Granat Wills can refer you to an attorney who can assist you in that court proceeding.
Property Power of Attorney
What is a property power of attorney?
In the state of Maryland the property power of attorney can give a loved one the power to make decisions regarding your property, assets and finances.
When will my power of attorney take effect?
Immediately is our recommendation, but make sure to keep it in a safe and secure location. If you think that the person you named would steal money from you and not follow your wishes, then you probably have chosen the wrong person. If you choose to have it effective on your incapacity, then we will need a court to appoint a guardian and declare you incapacitated, which makes this document very difficult to use.
Whom can I name as my power of attorney?
Anyone over the age of 18 years old can be granted with power of attorney rights, but we strongly suggest you choose a loved one you trust completely.
How much decision making power can I grant through a power of attorney?
You can grant the power to make all financial decisions in a property power of attorney such as managing your safe deposit box, bank accounts, and business assets in order to keep your affairs running smoothly if you are unable to do so.
Did divorce invalidate my power of attorney?
Divorce doesn’t necessarily invalidate the power of attorney; rather, the divorce merely assumes that the spouse is deceased. If you only have 1 agent (your spouse), then you would need to execute a new power of attorney. If however, you have successor agents (which is normal practice), then the agent will be the first successor agent and on down the line.
What is a HIPAA authorization?
A HIPAA release form allows your loved one to access your medical records and communicate with your physicians for you if you are unable to do so. This form is based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was designed to aggressively protect your personal medical data.
Will medical personnel honor my HIPAA authorization?
Yes, if you have any difficulty using your documents, please let our office know.
What is a living trust?
A revocable living trust places your assets (including your bank accounts, investments and home) into a trust to benefit you during your lifetime and then transfers your assets to your beneficiaries after you die.
Why don’t you provide living trusts or other trusts online?
You can order a Living Trust online, but you will need to have a consultation with an attorney first, either by telephone or webcam. It is not possible to offer suggestions to fit your circumstances via questionnaire. A living trust provides a lot of flexibility and there are many decisions that are made when creating one that require the assistance of an attorney during the design phase.
How do I know when I’m ready to “graduate” to an estate plan?
Generally, a full estate plan is best when your assets are valued at more than $1,000,000, you have a special needs child, you’re a business owner, you or your spouse have been married before, or you are not a US citizen. Any one of these situations would require more advanced planning. Read about these and other situations in the section When a Will Is Not Enough.
Does a living trust go to probate?
Not if the trust is created properly and assets are titled within that trust. There are some trusts that are created in a will, and those trusts will go to probate court. If you would like a review of your living trust, please contact our office for a quote.
Are my assets in a living trust made public when I die?
No they are not, as long as the trust is created properly and the assets are titled within the living trust. If you would like a review of your living trust, please contact our office for a quote.
Does a living trust save money on estate taxes?
Yes, if your estate is over the exemption in Maryland or the Federal exemption, then a properly written Living Trust can reduce your family’s tax burden.