Beginning the estate planning process at any stage in your life is essential in preparing for your future. Writing a will ensures that the court and your family follow your wishes for your assets and property after your death.
You may think creating a will on your own, without the help of an attorney, may save time and money. However, drafting a “DIY” will is a bad idea for several reasons.
Lack of estate planning knowledge
A DIY will is a bad idea when created by those who lack legal knowledge. When drafting estate planning documents, one must understand the law and follow state regulations. These documents utilize many legal concepts specific to wills and estates. Without the proper knowledge, the will you create may not accurately reflect your wishes or even go against state law, leading to legal disputes.
Another danger of writing your own will is not properly formatting or executing the legal document. For a court to consider a will valid, you must follow a particular format. You also need to sign it with witnesses in a specific way. If the probate court decides your will is invalid, the judge will follow estate distribution methods outlined in your state rather than your wishes.
Expensive in the long-run
You may feel you are saving up front by not spending money on an attorney to create your estate planning documents. However, if someone challenges the validity of your will or otherwise disputes the provisions, the legal fees can quickly add up. Properly executing your will now with the advice of a professional can help ensure your will is legally sound and prevent future issues.
Although it may seem easy and tempting, in reality, creating a DIY will can lead to serious consequences in the long run.