Can I write my own will?
This is a common question among concerned people looking to take care of their loved ones when they pass: Can I write my own will?
The marvel of modern technology gives many tools to those who are eager to attempt a DIY project on their estate plan. In Texas, we allow holographic wills to be valid. This means that as long as you write out will completely in your own handwriting, the will will be valid.
So it begs the question, why pay for an attorney to do your estate plan? Can I write my own will?
Here are 5 things to consider:
1. You don’t know what to write in your will
An extremely common mistake I personally see all the time is a handwritten, or internet form will without the basic provisions necessary to function in the normal world. Most of the time, these wills are valid and can be probated. However, because they lack the important provisions necessary, the probate becomes unnecessarily complicated and simple tasks, like selling the home, become huge challenges because the necessary powers or provisions were not worded correctly.
2. You don’t know what type of estate plan you actually want or need
No one likes spending money. Most like to save money where they can. The truth of the matter is that without significant training or experience, it is nearly impossible to know which tools you should or shouldn’t employ in an effective estate plan.
Are you in a blended family?
Do you have a child with special needs?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of problems that a normal DIY estate plan probably isn’t going to solve.
3. You are doing this to make things easier for your loved ones should the unthinkable happen
It can be hard to remember that fact. The truth is that if you fail to plan, or do an ineffective DIY estate plan, your loved ones will experience even more inconvenience. If you don’t get things written down in a way that is easily recognizable under the law, the institutions that work with your loved ones after you are gone or incapacitated will have to work around the documents you have left. This can often delay or even change the wishes you have written down.
4. This is something you want to get right
We are all procrastinators. We remember that time in school when we had a 15 page paper due at the end of the semester and we typed 14 of those pages at midnight before it was due. Unfortunately, with an estate plan it doesn’t work that way. There is no fixing this problem at midnight, and there are certainly no extensions granted by the teacher after we’re gone.
When you pass away, the documents and memories you left behind are really all you have left to demonstrate how you cared for and wish to care for your loved ones.
5. You want someone who can guide your family when you are gone
Building a relationship now with a qualified attorney will greatly ease the transition should something happen to you.
What do you do with a will when someone passes?
How do you get property into the hands of people that were designated?
Next time you ask yourself, Can I write my own will?, remember this: It is of great benefit for your loved ones to be able to speak to an attorney that helped you create the documents, can explain the legal benefits and processes, and walk your family through completing the distribution of your assets.
Obtaining the proper help from an attorney in crafting your estate plan is crucial. At the Malolo Law Firm, we help clients make a plan for what they want to have happen should the unthinkable occur. Give us a call today to schedule a planning session.
If you have any questions regarding wills and estate plans, call The Malolo Law Firm, PLLC,
in McKinney at (214) 620-2088. Protect your legacy for your loved ones and plan your way!
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- Posted by Charlie Malolo
- On July 25, 2016