If you’re like the majority of Americans, writing your will has been on your to-do list for quite some time. Research shows that almost 70% of U.S. adults have no last will and testament, despite the fact that these documents are essential for the future of your beneficiaries. In other words, if you’re considering drafting your will, you’re a step ahead of most!
However, when it comes to drawing up this crucial document, it’s worth noting that you have multiple options. It’s possible to get a lawyer to help, first and foremost, but you can also choose DIY alternatives like online services or free templates. Which option is right for your needs?
If you’re on the fence about where to turn, we’ve created a quick explainer to help. Here’s what you should know about getting an attorney to help get your last wishes down on paper.
Do You Need to Get a Lawyer When Drafting a Will?
The short answer to this question is “no,” although not having an expert’s help can complicate your situation.
There’s no legal requirement that you get an attorney to help you when drafting your will. In fact, it’s possible to find templates online to help you draft your will and testament, as well as online services that help with this task. You can also choose to write a will from scratch on your own, though it may help to follow along with an online checklist to make sure you’re covering your bases.
In other words, a DIY job is technically possible. If you own few assets, or if you don’t have complex plans in terms of beneficiaries, donations, and finances, this may be a good option for you.
Why You Should Consider Getting a Personal Attorney to Draft Your Will
For the majority of people, working with a personal attorney will be a better choice than creating a DIY will and testament. This is especially true if you’re planning to draft a complicated will, or if the situation for your beneficiaries is complex. Here are a few reasons an estate planning attorney may be the better choice:
- An attorney can ensure that your will follows estate planning law, meaning that you won’t have to worry about following the ever-changing state and federal requirements
- Templates and internet services may be flawed, meaning that part or all of your legal documents could be found invalid in court after your passing
- A lawyer can advise you on complex financial situations, especially if your will involves multiple properties, a business, minor children or no children, family members with special needs, and more
- As an objective third party, lawyers can offer clear advice to help you muddle through your emotional attachments to find the best legal options for your will
- An attorney can update your plan as needed year after year or after significant life changes
At the end of the day, finding a local lawyer for wills can be well worth the time and effort. With the added peace of mind that comes with expert help, you can trust that your documents will protect your beneficiaries when it matters most.
Reach Out to an Expert for Help Today
At the end of the day, your will and testament are vital documents that are far too important to leave to cheap online services. Taking the time to get a lawyer can help you properly outline your last wishes, ensuring that you’re creating a valid legal document that will protect your beneficiaries when they need it most. With a little effort and some expert help, you can make sure your loved ones have the assets they need long after you’re gone!
Need more legal guides like this one? Be sure to check out our other posts for additional tips, tricks, and explainers.