Most people are apprehensive about talking about estate planning, but these are conversations that need to be had. Ensuring that you have an estate plan that accurately reflects your wishes offers security to both you and your loved ones.
As the topic of estate planning can be challenging, people often opt to take shortcuts, while others simply choose to ignore estate planning fully. One way that individuals seek to make the process easier is by drafting a will on their own. This can also be tempting as it appears cheaper than alternative estate planning methods.
But is DIY estate planning cheaper or could it cost you more in the long run?
Estate planning law is state-specific
DIY will templates tend to be downloaded online, and there are many of them. Although they might look professional at a glance, they can be rather generic in their format. This is not ideal, as most states have specific laws regarding the drafting of wills and other estate planning instances. The law regarding California wills is likely to be different than virtually every other state. Legal language can be nuanced and statutory provisions can vary significantly from state to state. If you download a will from an internet source, can you really be sure that it is in line with the laws of the state that is relevant to you?
Can a DIY will accurately reflect your wishes?
With the generic format of most online will templates, it can be difficult to include specific instructions that relate to your circumstances. Your family dynamic may be complex, and an online will may not take this into account. The last thing you want to discover after investing time and money into creating a will is that you have left someone or something out. This is counterproductive.
A watertight will can ensure that your final wishes are carried out and it can also prevent conflict and distress among family members. As you plan for the future, it is in your best interests to consider all of the legal options open to you.