This is a list of reasons to hire a lawyer to prepare a will, rather than resort to non-lawyer document preparation services, form books, or programs that promise the reader he or she can "do-it-yourself," such other alternatives referred to as "DIY will alternatives."
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.
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?