Should I Write My Own Will?

Writing your own will - if it isn’t set up correctly it could cost your loved ones time, money, and stress in the long run.

Writing a Will might not be the most exciting task on your to-do list, but it is one of the most important. Whether you’re a parent wanting to ensure your children’s future is secure, or an adult with assets you’d like to distribute according to your wishes, a properly drafted and well-thought-out Will can provide protection and peace of mind. But with so many options available, you might be wondering, “Should I write my own will?” Let’s explore the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Why Consider Writing Your Own Will?

One of the most compelling reasons to write your own Will is the potential cost savings. However, if your Will doesn’t contain the minimum required provisions and terms, and isn’t properly formatted and executed, it could end up costing your loved ones time and money, and serve up a great deal of stress. 

Related: An Introduction to the Probate Process in Michigan

You may be pleasantly surprised at the cost of having an Estate Planning Attorney complete your Will. 

Let’s look at some of the risks of a DIY Will. 

The Risks of Writing Your Own Will

Legal Complexities

While writing your own Will can be straightforward if your estate is simple, things get complicated if you have a large or complex estate. Issues like multiple properties, investments, or specific bequests require precise language to avoid misunderstandings and legal challenges.

State Laws

Wills must comply with state-specific laws, which can vary significantly. A DIY Will might not meet all the legal requirements in your jurisdiction, potentially rendering it invalid.

Potential for Errors

Even minor mistakes can have significant consequences. Errors in wording, improper signatures, or incorrect witness procedures can lead to your Will being contested or invalidated.

When to Seek Professional Help

Complex Estates

If your estate includes various types of assets, business interests, or intricate family dynamics, consulting a lawyer can help ensure your Will is comprehensive and legally sound.

Special Circumstances

Situations like a blended family, special-needs beneficiaries, or charitable contributions require nuanced planning that a professional can provide.

Peace of Mind

Hiring a lawyer offers the assurance that your Will is legally watertight and that your wishes will be honored. It also provides an opportunity to discuss other estate planning tools, such as Trusts or Powers of Attorney.

Conclusion

Deciding whether to write your own Will depends on your specific circumstances. For simple estates and straightforward wishes, a DIY Will can be a cost-effective and convenient option. However, seeking professional advice is advisable to ensure your Will is valid and comprehensive.

Whatever route you choose, the most important thing is to take action. Having a Will in place, even a basic one, is better than having none at all. Your loved ones will appreciate the clarity and direction during a challenging time.

Ready to take the next step? Consider consulting with Cornerstone Legal to discuss your unique needs and ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you intend.

Give me a call at (517) 708-2222 or email me at Katrina@CornerstoneLegalPLLC.com.

Building your foundation. Building your confidence.

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