Can I Write My Own Will?

The average person writes their will at age 47. If you’re older than this, it’s high time that you look into doing so, but even if you’re younger, it’s a good idea to draft your last will and testament. Though we don’t like to think about it, tragedy can strike at any time, and it’s far better to be safe than sorry.

This is especially the case when it comes to the major assets that you’ll be discussing in your will- you want to make sure that they end up in the right hands. Still, you likely know very little about will drafting if you haven’t already gone through the process. Lots of questions may be swirling in your mind: can I write my own will? What sorts of assets need to be included? If I do decide to get professional consultation, how would it work?

We’re here to answer all these questions and more, so keep your eyes peeled and learn about setting up a will before it’s too late.

What Are the Options?

Before deciding whether or not to write a will without a lawyer, it’s important to compare and contrast the pros and cons of doing this. Whether or not you should make a will with a lawyer or do it yourself is ultimately a personal choice, but it’s crucial that you have all the necessary information. Read on to learn about your options so that you can make the most informed choice.

Professional Services

Most people choose to use a professional lawyer when drafting a will. This is a good option because the lawyers know all the legal terms that you’ll need to know already. They also can help you think about the practicalities behind the inheritance that you’re willing off to family and loved ones.

While you may be concerned about the costs associated with having a lawyer help draft your will, it really isn’t that expensive– the highest price for a fill-in-the-blank template is as low as $500, but more often than not it leans more toward $100.

The biggest issue that many people have with using these services is that they feel that it’s no one’s business but their own who they will their assets too. They don’t want someone else interfering. While lawyers won’t interfere with what you want, this does make sense. What you want to happen after death is incredibly personal and your wishes regarding it are to be respected.

DIY Will Writing

If writing your will entirely on your own is a big deal to you, we have good news: it’s totally legal to do this. More than that, the document that you create will be legally binding as long as you do your research and know what you’re doing. In order for the will to be legally binding, you’ll also need to have two independent adult witnesses (that have nothing to do with the will) witness you sign it.

Writing your own will is great because you’ll feel like you have complete control over your assets. You’ll have time to think about what you want without worrying about pressure from anyone else. However, this comes at a price: professional consultation will help you figure out the legalities behind what you’re doing. If you don’t have these services, you’ll need to put in the work and learn the law yourself.

What Should You Do If You Write Your Own Will?

If you’re dead-set on writing your will on your own, there’s no reason why you really can’t. Still, you don’t have the same knowledge as someone who writes wills professionally does. That’s why there will be a little extra thought and research necessary if you will is something you really want to DIY. Read on to learn what steps you’re going to need to take when writing a will all by yourself.

Figure Out Your Assets

Before you can begin to draft a will, it’s essential that you figure out exactly where you want your assets to go. More likely than not, they’ll be going to next of kin anyway, which is what would happen if you don’t draft any will. It’s better safe than sorry, though, and even if you do plan to give your estate and money to your eldest son or daughter, you should write that down so no one can contest that.

If you aren’t giving your property to next of kin and want it to go to a younger child, nephew/niece, or friend, you absolutely need to write that down with appropriate terminology. Otherwise, there’s no way it will go to them. Find out more on how to make sure your will is up-to-date and think about that.

Use Appropriate Terminology

There’s some terminology you’re going to need to know if you want your will to be uncontestable and legally binding. You’re going to need to do a little research in order to figure out what this terminology is. There are templates for professional last wills and testaments that you can find online, too, so you get an idea of what it’s meant to look like.

Think About Taxes

You’re also going to need to think about whether or not any of your assets will be taxed before going to the person you’re willing it to. Account for this possibility in your budget.

Even if you want to write your will on your own, it’s best that you at least consult with a professional and have them read it over. This is especially the case when you think that an estate tax may come into play since you likely don’t know how this really works. Just something to think about!

So, Can I Write My Own Will?

So, you have your answer. Can I write my own will? Yes.

Is it a good idea? Maybe. Maybe not. That depends on how good you are at doing your research and managing money and financial information. It’s by and large a good idea to have at least some level of professional consultation, but if you choose not to do this, you still will have a legally binding document in your hands.

Now that you know the basics behind whether or not drafting your own will is a good idea, it’s time to get more financial information that will help you during the will writing process. Click the ‘financial’ tab on our page to learn more about managing money and major assets.

Good luck!

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