THE RISKS OF WRITING YOUR OWN WILL
July 10, 2020
There are so many resources online that show you how to do everything from making a gourmet dish to refinishing a piece of furniture. While some things are worth embracing the “DIY spirit” and doing yourself, writing your will on your own is not one of them.
What could go wrong?
With all the legal websites on the internet, a motivated person could figure it all out and save some money, right? What could go wrong? Plenty. For a will to be valid, it needs to not only be written in accordance with your state’s laws, it needs to be signed following the law’s specifications as well. This includes having your signature properly witnessed. Your will may have a higher likelihood of being contested if your witnesses are also named in the will as beneficiaries.
Risks that could be avoided
Even if you follow an online tutorial to the letter or fill out a boiler-plate form according to the highly rated directions, you run a risk of things not going the way you expected. If your will has mistakes or omissions and your will is found to be invalid, it is likely the court will decide how your assets get divided. In other cases, if your instructions do not have legal clarity, beneficiaries may have to spend significant money and time defending their own interests.
The safe alternative
Drafting your will with an experienced estate planning attorney will ensure that your will’s directives are consistent with other legal documents you may have, such as a pre or postnuptial. A professional’s opinion and skill will make sure that your intentions are enforceable by law.