Making a will is easy. You can do it yourself with a pencil and paper. If you plan on doing it yourself, there are a couple of caveats you should know. First it must be in your handwriting. Don’t get fancy and use your computer and type it. If you just sign a typed document, it won’t be valid. Secondly, a will is the first basic part of your estate plan. It will determine what happens to everything your own. There are many facets to this that you may overlook. It is a good idea to educate yourself, before you go it alone. It is probably a good idea to follow a will template or do some research so that you don’t overlook important will provisions.
For instance, a will names your guardians and that can be a tricky proposition.
The best part of getting a good estate plan finished is the piece of mind. I see it in the eyes of my clients every time they finish signing their documents. There’s a look of relief.
People worry, “How do I divide my property?” “How can I stop the kids from fight over things?” It’s true these worries are probably subconscious, but they are always there. Making a will and estate plan lifts those worries off your back.
I just finished an estate plan – wills, living trust, durable powers of attorney, and living wills for a couple. They had come to me 14 years ago. IT TOOK 14 YEARS! They could not decide who should be the guardians for their children. Now, their children are grown and they came back to finish their estate plan. As they signed their wills, trusts and other estate planning documents, you could see it in their eyes the peace of mind.
The bottom line is, whether you go to an attorney or do it yourself, you need to do your estate planning. It’s worth it for the economics and the peace of mind. I wrote a book, Protecting Your Financial Future, that discusses estate planning in detail and how to set everything up. It is a great read and will give you the knowledge so you can accomplish what you want and need.