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Do I need a lawyer to write a will?

New York, NY |

When you write a will, do you need to notarize or need a lawyer to get legalize? I don't have much money or assets.

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Attorney answers 3


I strongly recommend that you have a lawyer draft your will and supervise its execution. If you look around, you can find a lawyer that will prepare basic estate planning document for very little cost. If you are a US Vet, you can get these services for free.


While the law does not require that a lawyer be involved in preparing a Will I strongly recommend it. People typically plan for one of two reaons: 1) they want the peace of mind of knowing they've taken care of things; or 2) they want to be able to tell others they have taken care of things. If you fall into group 2 any kit or website Will will do since saying you did your planning is more important than knowing it is correct;however, if you fall into the first group how can you get any peace of mind without working with someone who does this for a living?

Very truly yours,

Ed Smeltzer

NOTE: This answer was prepared for educational purposes only. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.


Any will must comply with the legal formalities of the state you live in, in order to be valid. Regardless of the size of your estate, what a lawyer can do for you is provide counselling and education on the issues that need to be considered in order to have the will or other estate planning document actually reflect your wishes. It's not just about the document! A lawyer's value is in his/her advice and guidance through the planning process.

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