Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to do a Will. That’s a major, major step. Many people fight that for a long time. They think, well, I’m not going to die, or I can put it up tomorrow I’m not going to die today. But you’ve made a decision you need to do a Will, but you’re considering doing it yourself. We’re often asked, well, can I do it myself? And the answer is, legally, you can. I think the better question is, should you?
There’s a lot of complications regarding a properly drafted estate plan. I could tell stories, after stories, after stories of litigation cases we’ve been involved with where the documents have been drafted by either the person themselves, by a non-lawyer paralegal, or they’ve utilized the form and we’ve litigated those cases for years and years, because of various defects in the documents that they’ve used. Legally you can do it yourself, but you probably shouldn’t. I know that there’s three wires inside of an electrical wire, and one of them is the ground, but I’m not sure which, and I probably should not do the electrical wiring in my house. I should probably get someone who is qualified and experienced, an electrician, to run the wires in my house. If it’s wrong, it can be devastating. If I were to wire my house myself and get something wrong, I could end up with a fire, burn my whole house down, possibly kill myself, and my family. The same principles apply in your estate plan. Your estate plan is a critical step in you being responsible to protect your loved ones so that everything falls into place. If you were to die, everything’s in order. If you don’t do that correctly, you actually can create tremendous turmoil, expense, controversy and conflict amongst family members that you never wanted to happen, and you never envisioned would happen.
It is our recommendation that if you’ve made the decision to do a Will, which is just a part of a well thought out estate plan, you should contact a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney and consult with them. Tell them what you want to happen and see what they say. A lawyer can provide you legal advice, and a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney can take what you want and draft documents that are crystal clear, make sure what you want happens, if anything were to happen to you, including your untimely death. So, the short or the long answer; I guess that was a long answer, but the short answer is you can do it yourself, but you probably shouldn’t.