Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Will?

Many people find the idea of writing a will overwhelming and stressful, which is why it's not surprising that 2 out of 5 Americans over the age of 45 don't have one. However, putting your wishes on paper can provide you with peace of mind and help your loved ones avoid unnecessary stress and disputes in the future.

While using an attorney to draft your will isn't necessary, they can be very helpful. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of writing a will without an attorney to help you determine which decision is best for you.

Pros of Writing Your Will Yourself

1. Avoid Lawyer Fees

When it comes to creating a will, it’s important to consider the costs of having an attorney help you out. Some lawyers charge a flat fee for their services, while others may charge hourly.

However, taking a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach through online resources may initially be a more cost-effective option. Keep in mind that there may still be fees associated with using these resources.

2. Finish Your Will in Shorter Time

Creating a will can be a challenging task but using an online service can be a game-changer. Not only is it a huge time-saver, but you’re also able to complete the entire process from the comfort of your own home.

By writing a will yourself online, you can avoid appointments, commuting to an office, and meeting face-to-face with an attorney. As long as you have all the necessary information at hand, the process can take just a matter of minutes or a few hours, depending on the complexity of your situation.

Cons of Writing Your Will Yourself

1. Your Will May Not Be Valid

Completing a DIY will online can be a convenient and cost-effective solution for those who prefer to take care of things on their own. However, it's important to note that simply printing out your will may not be enough to ensure its validity. Every state has its own regulations for wills, and it's essential to do some research into your state's specific requirements before finalizing your document. For example, in Colorado, a “will must be witnessed by two uninterested parties or notarized by a Notary Public authorized to take acknowledgments.”

Without the guidance of an attorney, researching the ins and outs of will writing can be a puzzling task. It's important to thoroughly educate yourself on state-specific regulations to avoid any potential legal issues down the line.

2. Your DIY Will Could Cost Your Heirs Time & Money

Creating a will can be a complex process, and it's important to ensure that your document is executed properly and accurately reflects your wishes. If mistakes are made, omitted or the document is improperly executed, it could cause issues for your heirs down the line.

Any issues could lead to delays in your heirs accessing their inheritance, and the estate may need to go through probate. While mistakes can still happen with traditional attorneys, it's wise to consider drafting a well-written will with an attorney to protect your interests. With an airtight will, you can rest assured that your estate will be passed on as you intended.

3. Your Will May Be Too Simple

When it comes to estate planning, a DIY will may seem like an attractive and cost-effective option. However, if minimizing the tax burden on your heirs is a top priority, a DIY will may not provide the sophisticated tax solutions necessary. Additionally, if you have minors who depend on you, a DIY will may not offer enough direction or specificity regarding their future care.

Those who require a more nuanced approach, such as parents of children with special needs, will likely need the experience and guidance of an attorney. While a DIY will may seem like a quick fix, it's important to carefully consider your specific needs and consult with professionals to ensure your wishes are appropriately addressed.

Hire an Attorney to Help

Writing a will is a crucial step in planning for your future and ensuring that your wishes are carried out. While it may be convenient to write your own will without legal assistance, it's essential to take the time to consider the pros and cons of doing so.

Your personal situation is unique, and it's important to make informed decisions that align with your specific needs and desires. If you're unsure or need guidance, it's best to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.

At the Law Office of Alexandra White, PC, our will attorneys have the knowledge to assist you in creating a will that gives you peace of mind. Our team can listen to your wishes, answer your concerns, and much more.

Contact us today at (303) 647-4245 or get in touch with us online.