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Want to Write Your Own Will

Want to Write Your Own Will

August 28, 2023

Have you ever considered writing your own will? While you can draft a will independently, you may want to avoid going that route for many reasons. Most people do it to save money, but they may overlook or forget to take care of some essential details that could eventually cost them much more than the amount they could save. Some of the biggest mistakes include:

Ignoring state law differences: Will kits and online wills may only sometimes consider state laws regarding probate administration. An estate planning attorney can inform you of these state laws; a will kit or website may not.

Not revoking an earlier will: Many wills contain boilerplate language that automatically revokes any preceding will. If you are writing your will totally on your own (some people still do), you may need to realize the necessity of such a clause.

Assumptions: If you will property to an heir, what happens if you outlive that heir? What if you will an asset to a friend or relative today, and that asset is gone when your will is executed someday? These are essential things to contemplate, things that most people who write their own will have yet to consider.

Vagueness: Sometimes, executors need to be given more power by the language of a will. Sometimes, a home will be left to the spouse but with no one assigned to pay for the house's upkeep during the rest of that widow's lifetime. Alternate executors are sometimes omitted from wills, and names of nonprofit groups can easily be misstated or misspelled, inviting complication and possible dispute of charitable intent.

Remember that this is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Caroline R. Schmidt, Esq. , says, "Many people are scared of the cost, but I always say that people pay me more money to fix a problem than they would have ever paid me to do it correctly the first time." Consider consulting a legal professional before making any changes to your estate strategy. Instead of searching the Internet for a stranger, request a referral, ask for help, and let me know if I can assist.