Many people attempt to save money on estate planning costs by writing their own wills. While there are many DIY will creation services available, writing your own will can be problematic in many ways. The Balance explains a few of the pitfalls of creating your own will without an attorney's assistance.
Keep in mind that state laws governing will creation vary quite a bit and it can be difficult to comprehend the full range of laws. This includes laws governing estate taxes, disinheriting spouses, community property, and many other situations. If your estate plan fails to meet the laws in your state, your will could be subject to probate. This is a costly and time-consuming process that entails proving your will is authentic, paying creditors, and finally, dispersing assets to heirs.
DIY wills are also created to cover the most general situations. In the event your will is more complex, chances are a self-made will offers insufficient protections. For example, if you own property in multiple states a DIY will probably won't cover your needs. It may also be lacking if you have a greater number of assets or some other complicated situation. Once again, if your will fails to covers these circumstances it may be disputed in court.
Lastly, there is no substitute for professional assistance when it comes to estate planning. Along with ensuring the document is valid, an attorney can also help you plan your estate in such a way that it's the most beneficial to you. It may also help you save money on court costs in the long run, since you won't need to worry about additional court costs for probate. Lastly, proper will planning also offers you and your family peace of mind.