Is a DIY will a good idea?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Estate Planning |

There are many things that you can easily do yourself without having to hire a professional. In general, though, anything related to the law requires the help of an attorney who has the education and experience to understand the law and ensure you protect yourself. This is especially true when it comes to creating your will. 

There are many DIY kits available online that promise you can create a 100% legal will without the help of an attorney. The fine print on these kits tells the full story. They usually include a disclaimer that this is not legal advice and that you should consult an attorney. This not only protects the creator of the kit but also serves as a caution that a DIY will may not be in your best interests. 

Does not include specifics or exceptions 

One of the biggest reasons you need an attorney to oversee the creation of your will, according to Forbes, is to avoid making mistakes that could put your estate and heirs at risk. You may forget to include specific information your will needs to be held legally valid. You may need to include additional documents, but these kits do not account for that. 

There are many missteps that you can make that could cause a court to declare your will or parts of it invalid. This opens the door for problems during probate that will slow down the distribution of your assets. Furthermore, it means the court may be unable to honor your wishes. 

Does not usually save money 

Most people will try to use a DIY will to save money. Most DIY kits are free or available for a low cost, which is going to be cheaper than attorney fees. However, in the long run, the cost of doing it yourself is often higher because of litigation after your death to correct any mistakes in the DIY will.