Writing your own will might seem like a great idea. There are lots of online products available the purport to make such an undertaking simple. The fact is, though, all of those products specifically point out that they are not offering legal advice. When you are undertaking the creation of a legal document of such importance as a will, which distributes your property to where you want it to go – if done properly, at least – you might want to actually have legal advice.
As one source points out, where or to whom you want your property to go is only one part of a will. You must consider that laws vary from state to state regarding wills not to mention from country to country. You won’t be around to discover that your do-it-yourself will didn’t work as intended, but your heirs will be. You wouldn’t perform your own surgery, would you?
The American Association of Retired People advises that writing a will is one of the most important things you ever will do for your family, so it is important to ensure it is done properly to avoid legal entanglements for your heirs. Because laws governing wills vary from state to state, if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of the laws of the state that will govern your will, you should consult someone who is – an attorney knowledgeable in trusts and estates, or an estate planner.
There are a Number of Compelling Reasons Not to Write Your Own Will
As Forbes points out, there are a lot of good reasons to let a professional prepare your will. In the end, you can rest assured that your will is going to dispense your estate as you actually want, and disputes among heirs can be minimized or eliminated because your wishes will be clear. Among the reasons to have an attorney prepare your will are:
- Attorney costs are minimal, especially when compared to your estate. Even if your financial situation is fairly simple and your estate is valued at only, say, $100,000, you can have a professional will prepared for 1 percent or less of the value of your estate.
- Errors in your will drive up the cost of distributing your estate. By refusing to spend $1,000 or so to have a professionally prepared will, you risk incurring mistakes that will drive the cost of settling your estate far beyond what you “saved” by drafting your will yourself.
- A poorly drafted will can cause confusion. No one wants to add to the grief to your loved ones caused by your death by creating a will that results in disputes over your intentions. Vague wording can do just that. You want a will that will be crystal clear to your executor, your heirs, and the probate court so that disputes can be avoided
There are myriad other problems that can arise with a do-it-yourself will. You can avoid these by having a professional take on the responsibility of ensuring that your will reflects your actual wishes.
If You Are Considering Writing Your Own Will in the Vidalia Area, Contact the Probate Attorneys of Smith and Tillery
If you are contemplating drafting your own will, you should consult with an experienced probate attorney first. The lawyers of Smith and Tillery are well-versed in trusts and estates law and can assist you in ensuring that your will accomplishes what you want it to. You can reach us at (912) 537-3030 or through our online contact form.