Problems Associated with Drafting Your Own Will

Every person has the legal right to draft and execute his or her own will.  However, opting for a do-it-yourself last will and testament often creates problems:

  • Estate laws vary from state to state, making it difficult for any single book, form or software program to be as comprehensive as may be needed.
  • Many words have special meaning in the law that may not be obvious to a non-lawyer.  If you are not certain how specific state laws affect the wording in a will, your will may have consequences you never intended.
  • If your will is not drafted correctly, it could significantly increase the administrative expenses or fail to be effective in carrying out your wishes.

Contact us at 919-783-9669 today to discuss options besides a do it yourself last will and testament.

Consider all the assets you own and all your responsibilities, and how you would account for them all in your do-it-yourself last will and testament.

Here are a few items you should include in your will:

  • Your home
  • Your car
  • Guardianship arrangements for your child
  • Bank accounts
  • Heirlooms
  • Other real estate you own
  • Pets
  • How you wish to be buried or cremated
  • Payment of your debts
  • Payment of the administration of your estate
  • Loan forgiveness
  • Conditions of inheritance
  • Exclusions to inheritance 
  • Contributions to charities
  • What’s happens to anything not otherwise delineated

Those are just a few examples. There are many more items you may not even be aware of that you can include in your will. If you draft your own will and forget something, it will be up to your friends and family to try to come to an agreement about the omitted items, which may not be easy if they are under the stress of coping with your death as well as your other estate distribution.

Creating a last will and testament on your own creates many opportunities for miscommunication and arguments following your death. An attorney can help make sure that your will and estate plan accurately reflect your intentions.  Note that although you may draft your own will, it is illegal for a non-attorney to draft someone else's will.

Call us to discuss your unique needs and goals.