should you diy your will?
You understand that you need a will. After all, you want to designate who will care for your minor children and your pets and who will get your valuable baseball card collection. You also want to be buried on your property under your favorite maple tree up on the hill with only a simple cross as your gravestone marker. Plus, you’ve managed to save up quite a bit of money, and you don’t want your great-uncle who you haven’t seen for 20 years getting any of it.
The Law Offices of Diron Rutty offers estate planning services in New York City and the surrounding areas. We can help you with all of your estate planning needs, from writing a will to forming a family trust. Our expert legal team is here to help guide you throughout this process and help you make decisions that are right for you. Below, we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages to writing your own will. Contact one of our estate planning attorneys for a consultation today.
SHOULD YOU DIY YOUR OWN WILL?
Advantages to DIYing Your Will
- It saves you a lot of money. The biggest benefit of DIYing your own will is the money aspect. There is a proliferation of online DIY will sites that will walk you through the steps of a will, and will even print one out for you with all of the legal jargon that accompanies a will. These services are cheap, especially when compared to the cost of a professional lawyer. You can even write your own will without the help of an online service and have it notarized.
- It makes writing a will simple and fast. Only about two-thirds of Americans have a will. This is because most people don’t want to think about their death, which includes thinking about what will happen after their death. When you DIY a will, the process is quick and simple and can be done at home with your computer and internet access. All you do is find an online will site, pay their nominal fee, and fill in the information. This process can literally only take a few minutes if you don’t have a lot of assets. Truth be told, having any type of will is better than no will at all.
Disadvantages to DIYing Your Will
- You get what you pay for. A DIY will follows a template that works for most people. However, if you have anything unique or unusual that deviates from the will, these oddities will not be accounted for. Blended families, for one, are an extremely complicated process that should only be handled by a reputable estate lawyer in your state. Furthermore, your estate is governed by your state, not at the federal level. Every state has different laws when it comes to estate taxes, laws, probate, and the like. Not every DIY will takes into account the state you live in. Thus, The Law Offices of Diron Rutty recommends that you do your research into the estate laws of your state before choosing a DIY will service.
- Legal language. Wills are legal documents and very specific wording is required by every state in order to not misconstrue your intentions. If the wording is wrong on any part of the will, your intentions may not be carried out as you wanted them. While every will has a structure that estate lawyers follow — meaning they have the same general umbrella items, such as dividing up your assets — every will should be personalized to you, your situation, your family, and your specific needs.
- Contingencies. Contingencies are the “what-if” scenarios that need to be accounted for. For instance, if you die, your house automatically goes to the surviving spouse if their name is on the home. However, if both of you die in a car crash, who gets the house? That is a contingency or what-if scenario, that oftentimes, only an experienced estate lawyer such as those at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty can truly help you account for.
- You’re not a lawyer. The big problem with DIY wills is that since you are not an estate lawyer, you don’t know what to ask or what is required in a legal document. Thus, you can go through the entire process and have a will. But did you miss anything? You wouldn’t know without a professional estate lawyer who knows the pieces of a will and understands your state’s laws regarding wills. For example, some states require notaries. If you didn’t have your will notarized, it may be thrown out by the court. Top-notch professional estate lawyers know exactly what you need in your will and will ensure everything you want, need, and desire are laid out in the proper legal language.
CHOOSE THE LAW OFFICES OF DIRON RUTTY AS YOUR ESTATE LAW FIRM OF CHOICE
Estate lawyers want what is best for our clients. As such, we highly recommend that you avoid DIY wills and instead choose us for all your will and estate planning needs. With decades of experience, we understand the law here in New York with regards to your will. We ensure that everything is correct legally so that when you do die, your relatives won’t have to worry about a thing. We understand that the desire to save money and avoid the hassle of coming into our Bronx offices can be enticing; however, for the sake of your relatives, you need a professional will to ensure everyone and everything (including your pets) are taken care of.
While having a DIY will is better than nothing, it most likely won’t include everything, and your relatives may be faced with lots of legal fees to correct it. Our estate planning attorneys can help you not only with your will but also with a comprehensive estate plan that’s right for you. You and your relatives deserve peace of mind. Call us today for an estate planning consultation in either our Bronx office.