A recent article in US News & World Report states that there is an increase of people handling their own estate planning by drafting their own Wills. There are a number of online resources to do this, and some people assume that by doing this online themselves, they will save themselves hundreds or thousands of dollars?
Is this actually a good, sound practice? Should people, with little or no knowledge of the law, draft their own Wills?
There are numerous problems that can arise when one takes on the task of drafting their own Will. First, each state’s law is different, and there are different legal terms and requirements for an authentic Will in each state. These requirements are not easily learned online. Second, if a mistake is made, or if a person drafts a Will without understanding the full effect of its language, there will be thousands of dollars spent fixing it afterwards. Third, and worse, you may draft your own Will and it may legally distribute your property exactly opposite of how you intended.
We have seen numerous tragic cases where people have either drafted Wills themselves, or used online tools to draft them, and in the end, the Wills have been declared invalid, or worse yet, they have transferred assets contrary to the person’s true intention.
Let an attorney, who is skilled in the law, help you fully think through and understand what choices you have, and let them help you pick the best options for you. It is worth the peace of mind that you will receive when you know that your estate plan is drafted exactly how you want it.