Do I Need a Lawyer for a Will? Wills are a part of an estate plan that assists your money, belongings, and property legally pass to your loved ones.
The process of devising a legally-binding is going to involve many areas of law, below are some:
- Real estate law (the knowledge of if your house can be transferred to a loved one)
- Estate tax (comprehending the amount taxes your beneficiaries are going owe on your estate)
- Probate (comprehending how your property is going to be transferred upon your passing)
- Life insurance (the knowledge of if your policy can transfer to another individual)
Making matters even more difficult, individual state laws and county regulations can also play a considerable role in how you devise your will.
Wills Don’t Need a Lawyer
Yes, a will is legitimate when you don’t have it created by an attorney. There are DIY options you can use to devise your legal documentation.
Should you feel you have a firm grasp of the concepts listed above, then you might be a candidate for creating your will on your own. You should also have strong knowledge of your individual accounts and assets, so nothing is overlooked on your will.
Utilizing a Notary for Will Signing
You also do not fundamentally need a notary for your will. A lot of states allow an individual to sign their will in the presence of two witnesses rather than having it notarized.
Nevertheless, a lot of people that create their own will, are going to want to include a “self-proving affidavit.” This documentation does require a notary.
What You Need for a Will to Be Legal
A will is required to be signed and dated. In a lot of states, you are also going to need two witnesses to watch you sign the will.
You witnesses are not required to read your will, but they are required to be people that are not mentioned in the will. Meaning they can’t be anyone that is going to inherit or benefit from your will.
Holographic wills (wills that are handwritten) do not require a witness. Nevertheless, not all states acknowledge holographic wills as legitimate.
Gather These Documents for Your Last Will and Testament
A common will details how you want your property and possessions managed. You may need to locate and record:
- All financial institution accounts
- Assets such as vehicles, jet skis, houses, jewelry, and paintings
- Your life insurance policy
- Personal belongings you want to be passed on to specific individuals
- Contact information for your appointed beneficiary (or for multiple beneficiaries)
- Correct information about your financial status
- Appraisals of your property
There are estate planning inquiries, handbooks, and worksheets to assist you along the way.
You can also acquire planning information and legal document stocktaking worksheets in DIY document packages.
Medical Care and Living Wills
A living will tell doctors the type of medical treatment you want following an accident or ailment leaving you comatose or unable to explain your decisions.
But it is not only one document. Subject to your state, you might be required to fill out:
- A caregiver agreement for the individual you designate as a caregiver
- Health care instructions for your medical decisions
- Power of attorney documents to appoint someone for making financial decisions
Livings wills are different than a common wills. When you have a good understanding of healthcare law and the course you are going to want for your future medical care, you can create a living will on your own.
When to Use a Lawyer for a Will
Anyone with a complicated estate or assets may want to use a lawyer for reliable legal counsel and refined estate planning documents. The amount of time it takes to read and comprehend all laws, arrange documents, and pay for any errors is more than what the average individual wants to spend. There is also a lot of risk involved.
Typically, a lawyer is going to take one to ten hours to devise a will using their hourly rate. A lot of others bill a flat fee. Letting a law firm manage the process for you is usually worth the money, and the time saved.
You might want to use a lawyer when you know you require:
- A probate court (just about everyone endures the probate process, but some cases are more direct than others)
- Stipulations for minor children, step-children, special needs children, or blended families
- Assessments and records of convoluted assets
- Large amounts of money or multiple financial institution accounts
Is a Do-It-Yourself Will Right for You?
The decision is up to each person. Online wills can save people money for straightforward will creation. You can create a legitimate will without a lawyer’s assistance if you are able to think clearly and do your homework.
Complicated situations could benefit from professional help. When you have questions, a lot of lawyers can answer them in a meeting or at their hourly rate.
Preventing errors and guaranteeing your will is legal is vital, the reason why many people choose an estate planning attorney as their safest option.
Staff, F. L. (2021, March 4). Do I need a lawyer for a will? Findlaw. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/estate/wills/do-i-need-a-lawyer-for-a-will-.html
There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.
Here at Ogborne Law, we are proud to include estate planning among our services. Your estate planning attorney will work closely with you to draw up all the documents you’ll need to communicate your wishes to the court. We’ll take the time to answer all of your questions and guide you through this important process. If you’re ready to start your consultation with Ogborne Law, visit our Estate Planning Consultation request page.
There are so many aspects to consider in estate planning, and we haven’t even touched on those individuals who own a business!
You’ve worked hard for your life, and you need to protect it. You owe it to your family and your legacy to take care of planning now.
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