Maybe you have seen those will-in-a-box kits. Maybe you have even considered picking one up. Think twice about that. While you can draft a will on your own, there are plenty of reasons why you may not want to go that route. Most people do it to save money, but they may overlook or forget to take care of some important details – details that may eventually cost them much more than the amount they could save.
The Meridian (MS) Star’s article, titled “Reasons not to write your own will,” says that some of the big mistakes include these:
- State law differences. Many online wills and trusts don’t apply state laws, just basic concepts. An estate planning attorney knows these state laws and can make sure your will or trust is legal.
- Super software. There is some software and online forms that can help you draft a will, but there’s no guarantee the technology will ask specific, unique questions that an estate planning attorney might ask about your estate.
- Earlier wills. Most wills have boilerplate language that will revoke a preceding will. If you write your will totally on your own, you may not realize that you need this clause.
- Assumptions. What if you will property to your child and you outlive her? What if you will an asset to a friend, and that asset is gone when your will is executed? Things to think about that most people writing a will haven’t considered.
- Vagueness. Sometimes executors aren’t given enough power by the language of a will.
Wills, trusts and estate plans should be crafted with the help of an estate planning attorney. Don’t try this at home all alone!
Reference: The Meridian (MS) Star (June 7, 2015) “Reasons not to write your own will”