Why Can’t I Write My Own Will?
You can write your own will. However, that doesn’t mean it will be valid or recognized by probate court. It also may mean the will is easily subject to being contested. Wills are legal documents that must follow very specific state, laws in order to be valid. In fact, because the process of how you write the will and have it witnesses are the core of what makes the will valid, boilerplate forms generally don’t help to make the will acceptable by the courts.
Proper estate planning often means making a plan that includes a will, power of attorney statements, one or more trusts, and a healthcare plan. A will is just one part of a larger set of documents to ensure that when you become unable to express your wishes, no one is left wondering what choices you would have made.
Often, the process of a comprehensive estate plan is overwhelming. So if you are nervous or hesitant about making an appointment to see an attorney, you can start with a boilerplate form to help you list your assets and your beneficiaries. (As you fill out these forms, you will start to realize some of the legal complications that come with writing a recognizable will.) Once you feel more prepared to sit down with an attorney, make an appointment and bring these forms with you. You can start by working with an attorney to make a basic will that outlines your assets and the beneficiaries that will receive those assets.
Keep in mind, the best will is the one that you leave behind when you pass away. Estate planning is an on-going process that requires annual attention. Establish a relationship with an attorney now and take the necessary time to ensure you leave the legacy you want.