When it comes to writing a will a lot of people end up overlooking the process. Sure, it may be easy to determine which aspects of your property you want to break up, but that’s simply one element of the process. Writing your own will can be enticing, because you can say exactly what you want to say, however, there’s a good chance you’re going to leave out key elements.
On another note laws and jurisdictions vary, as far as what will actually make a will valid. If you do go about the process of writing your own will you should use extreme caution.
Below we’re going to cover the major pitfalls of drafting your own will, and how to best avoid any negative consequences.
1. Estate Planning Software Doesn’t Cover All The Bases
If you’re looking online for a basic will or estate planning form, or are using basic software to satisfy your needs, it’s important to realize that these forms are keeps as simple as possible on purpose.
They don’t want to overwhelm the casual user with a ton of confusing details. This means that if you have fairly complex needs when drafting your will, you may been to consult with a professional.
2. Trust And Tax Laws Vary From State To State
State laws are generally all over the place when it comes to estate taxes, gifts, trusts, probate, and inheritance taxes. There is also an entire slew of legal formalities that differ from state to state as well.
Generic forms that you’ve obtained from various sources around the web won’t be enough to cover all the taxation and legal issues that might arise.
3. All Online Software Isn’t Bulletproof
Most will and estate planning software, or even books aren’t bulletproof. This means that a lot of the advice offered, or forms you produce won’t have any legal standing.
Often, they are riddled with disclaimers that mention the need to seek legal counsel, or the opinion of a professional. We’d recommend to directly consult with a professional right away, and avoid any time wasted on online softwares.
4. Be Careful Of What You Pay For
Sometimes we end up sacrificing long-term results, just to save a little money in the short-term. However, you wouldn’t sweat investing money when it comes to having surfer, or buying a car, so why would you skimp when it comes to your will?
When it comes to wills and estate planning it’s important that you don’t settle for generic forms, and that you work with the best. Overall, estate planning isn’t something you’d want to take on yourself. Even if you have a simple estate it can be very beneficial to consult with an estate planner you can trust.
I hope you’ve found this article informative and are better prepped to consider all of your options when it comes to estate planning and drafting your own will. Often, working with a professional will help to ensure you end up with a will you can trust. When retiring, or simply planning for the future it can be a great weight off your mind to know your will is legally sound.