About 60% of Americans do not have a will or a living trust.
Granted, thinking and planning for the end of life is not something anyone would be enthusiastic about. So, while most people know they should, they wait until later to write a will.
Unfortunately, the decision at most times is put off until it is too late. In fact, 55% of Americans die without ever having had a will.
Why Do You Need a Will?
If you pass away or become incapacitated without writing an enforceable will, your loved ones might be tied in the legal system battling for your property long after you are gone.
It also means that how you want your property divided or your remains disposed of is left in the hands of other people.
To avoid this, it is best to draw up a will as early on as possible and revisit it as necessary.
DIY vs. Legal Expert to Write a Will
First things first; do you need to pay a lawyer to draw up your will, or can you DIY?
The internet is awash with how to do wills, complete with templates, and so on. So yes, it is possible to do your own will. The most important question is this: should you?
And if you do, will it be valid and enforceable in a court of law? Hiring a lawyer ensures that what you want is captured accurately because you will not be there to speak for yourself.
Here are three top reasons why you should let your attorney oversee this process.
1. Will vs. Estate Planning
A will is easy to DIY. However, hiring an estate planning lawyer to advise and oversee your estate planning is indispensable.
An estate plan is a detailed document that prepares for your death or disability.
This document will encompass your will, healthcare power of attorney document, financial power of attorney, and disposal of your final remains, among other things.
2. Legal Terms Can Be Your Undoing
You want your will to be interpreted exactly as you thought it out in your head. However, the words and phrasing you use can later be misinterpreted—intentionally or unintentionally.
Further, the various governing bodies and state regulations are fluid and are not easy to understand and keep up with.
However, this is an attorney’s job, so they are well-versed with phrasing, legal terms, and new regulations. When you bring a lawyer on board to handle your will, you are giving yourself the best chances of your will being enforced the way you want it.
A lawyer functions as a neutral party when drawing up a will. It is not uncommon for people to rush into doing a will after major fallouts where the main aim is to disinherit someone.
In such cases, your attorney can be objective and advise on this.
They are also able to look into the future outcomes of the decisions you make now. For example, an attorney can advise how to hold money or place it in a trust until the beneficiaries fulfill specific requirements.
They can also advise on who the executors should be so that, again, your wishes are honored after your passing.
All in all, you want not only to have your last wishes fulfilled, but you also want your family to have a sense of normalcy as soon as possible after your passing. When you write a will, this is achievable.
Would you like to talk to someone about drafting or amending an existing will? Contact us, and we will be happy to hold your hand through the process.