Writing a will is one of the most important undertakings most people ever face. It is of utmost importance—for both you and your loved ones—that your belongings end up precisely where you want them after your passing. Having precisely crafted estate documents that are free of mistakes and properly address all of your concerns is key to achieving your estate goals.
As a result, seeking the professional assistance of a knowledgeable attorney is necessary to ensure your will is executed exactly the way it should be without any complications. It may be tempting to try to save some money by drafting your own will or using an online form to create a “cut-and-paste will,” but below we have outlined four important reasons why you should always consult an attorney when drafting a will rather than relying on DIY templates or some other cheap service.
Wills Need to be Free from Errors
Lack of knowledge of legal terminology can lead to costly errors if you choose to write your own will and you will no longer be around to explain any parts of the will that may be subject to misinterpretation. Additionally, while online forms may seem to offer assistance in creating a will they also are known to contain vague wording and a simple mistaken keystroke could lead to your final wishes not being properly honored. Ambiguity and human error are your estate documents’ biggest enemy.
It could very well be the case that by the time you pass the people you have named as beneficiaries or perhaps even the executor of the will have also passed, which could lead to a drawn out and complex execution of the will. An experienced attorney will help you identify the areas in which you may need to create secondary or even tertiary plans to be sure that all of the bases are covered when it is time for your will to be read.
Signing a will is more complicated than it may seem and depending on how the will has been written it may need to be signed in more than one place. Witnesses will also need to sign the will in the appropriate places, and it is not uncommon that a will needs to be notarized. Failure to obtain all of the proper signatures could lead to a will being declared invalid. If the proper self executing language is not in your will, your executor may have to try to find your witnesses, who may be long gone by the time you pass.
Mishandling of the Executor
Without proper knowledge of the probate process it is easy to make costly mistakes when naming an executor. If an executor is not given explicit permission to act independently the court may require that he or she is granted approval for any action, drawing out the process and making it more expensive. Similarly, a bond requirement might be in your best interest to prevent an executor from absconding with the money.
Overall, the cost of hiring an attorney to draft your will is minimal, especially when compared to the total value of your estate and the importance of the matter. Seeking the guidance of an attorney will let you rest assured that all of your belongings are left in the right hands. For more information on drafting a will, contact the knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Vasquez de Lara Law Group to schedule a consultation.