Why a lawyer is your friend

Mourning

I’ve posted before about the value of using a lawyer over a will kit, but here are some more reasons if you need them.

Lawyers:

  • Listen to your goals and make sure they are reflected in your documents.
  • Offer advice on structuring your assets beyond just the will.
  • Are able to give referrals to other complementary professionals.
  • Make sure that your documents are properly signed and witnessed.
  • Make sure that you own your assets in the way that you think you do.

If you need more reasons, Forbes posted this article last year on why you should hire a professional. The author lists a number of additional reasons to have a lawyer draft your will, from making sure there are no errors, to avoiding misleading or confusing wording, to presuming that things will happen a certain way when they might be the opposite.

My posts on this topic are clearly self-serving; ultimately, I want to have people hire me to draft their wills. At the same time, I have seen too many estates go wrong in my estate administration practice to not say anything simply because it may be self-serving. You don’t have to hire me to draft your will. You should hire someone – and that someone should have will drafting as a regular part of their practice.

(Thank you to Greg Herman-Giddens at the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog and Gerry Beyer at the Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog for their blogs on this topic.)

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