Do You Need an Attorney to Draft a Will?

will

While estate planning, one of the most important steps is creating a comprehensive will. Regardless of your financial situation, taking the necessary measures to protect your hard-earned assets after you’ve departed is crucial. This legal document allows individuals to stipulate how they want their estate to be handled after passing. It’s common for individuals to question whether they must hire a lawyer to draft and execute their will or if they can write it on their own. Although state laws vary, a person can typically write their own will if they’re at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Drafting a will without legal assistance may seem cost-effective but can lead to severe consequences. Without quality legal counsel, you may make errors that could result in bequeathing less than intended to beneficiaries.

Further, it may not be legally enforceable. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a qualified Montgomery County Will Drafting Attorney who can help you prepare a well-crafted will. Please continue reading to learn about the benefits of working with an estate planning attorney. 

Can I Write My Own Will?

While you can decide during estate planning to draft your will on your own, there are numerous benefits to enlisting the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Without quality legal guidance during this process, you risk some of your instructions being invalid. This means the court may disregard or reinterpret the terms you’ve stipulated. Executing your will correctly is crucial to ensure it’s enforceable in Maryland. Otherwise, the court will govern the beneficiaries of your estate. That said, using precise language that leaves no ambiguity when executing a will is crucial.

If you write your own will, you risk including ambiguous terms that make it harder for your loved ones and the court to determine your final wishes and intentions. This can leave your beneficiaries in dispute, litigating these probate issues. It’s crucial to understand that the longer a will is disputed in court, the fewer assets will remain in the estate and the hands of your intended beneficiaries. To prevent this, an adept attorney can help ensure the document’s language is unambiguous.

Furthermore, the court is typically more likely to abide by your stated wishes and instructions. You risk drafting a will with terms and conditions that contradict each other. Contradictory terms, like ambiguous terms, can result in the court questioning your intentions.

As you can see, writing a will on your own is a considerable risk as it may not be considered valid according to state laws. Therefore, while it may seem like it will save you money now, it can wind up costing your loved ones in the future. At JD Katz, we are prepared to help you draft a well-rounded will that dictates your final wishes. Contact our legal team today to discuss how we can assist you.