Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer to Prepare a Last Will and Testament

Timothy Edward Kalamaros

Written by

Estate Planning Attorney

Contributor Level 15

Posted over 2 years ago. 1 helpful vote

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Why people don't want to hire a lawyer and choose to use DIY will alternatives.

The wise choice is to hire a lawyer to prepare your last will and testament. However people often choose not to do so. The usual reason a person makes that poor choice is the presumed expense of legal services. However, this can be a "penny wise and pound foolish" choice that a person's children or other heirs come to regret. The following five reasons illustrate sometimes why.

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Reasons why DIY will alternatives are an unwise choice.

1. If the person making out the will makes a mistake, he or she will be gone by the time anyone finds out and it will be too late to fix. 2. Laymen often don't understand what property a will affects. Complexities involving multiparty accounts, retirement accounts, cotenancy in land, and insurance may need expert planning advice. 3. The will may not get signed correctly. A will must be "published" and not just signed. There must be witnesses who see the publication and acknowledge it according to law. A layperson may have no idea that something has gone wrong. 4. Self prepared wills disappear. Nobody else may know about it whereas a law office goes to lengths to keep track of wills on hand and is ready to help the heirs get things done. A lost will is presumed to be revoked. 5. Valuable property is worth the expense of a good will to dictate its disposition. If a person has gone to the expense to maintain and insure property why go cheap at the end?

Additional Resources

Contact a lawyer who practices in the county where you reside to discuss planning your estate.

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