Estate planning is a step that should be given considerable thought as it has great financial benefits. Having a will ensures that your assets, money, property, and other belongings of value get passed down to your family and loved ones in the manner which you intend.
While it is somewhat common knowledge that having a will is a necessity, there is one critical question that lingers on the minds of many. That particular question is: Do you need a lawyer for a will? There are many sides to the answer to this question, and this blog post will cover everything you need to know about wills.
Writing a Valid Will: Do I Need an Attorney for This?
The short answer to the question is: No, you do not need to have a lawyer for you to have a valid will. However, there are some things you need to know before you start drafting up your DIY will.
Creating a Will
Although you do not necessarily need an attorney to draw up your will for you, you will still need an in-depth understanding of real estate law, estate taxes, probate, and life insurance among other things. You also need to have a good amount of knowledge about your state laws to help you ensure that you are creating your will properly.
Hiring a Notary
You will not need to hire a notary for your will either. In many states, a will only needs to be signed before at least two witnesses if they cannot have the document notarized.
What You Need for a Will to Be Legally Binding
There are a few documents that will be needed to make the will legal. You may need to have all your bank accounts, assets like cars, boats, houses, and jewelry, your life insurance policy, names and contact details of your beneficiaries, personal items you may want to pass down to specific people, and an accurate summation of your financial situation.
Living Wills for Medical Care
In some instances, you may want to consider including what is called a “living will” in case you meet an accident and fall unconscious. These wills may include specific instructions as to how you want your medical care to be handled after the incident.
When to Consider a DIY Will
Having an online will is extremely helpful and convenient, especially for people who find it difficult to step outside their homes. In short, making your own will can be done as long as you are of sound mind and can do your due diligence to research all the aspects of drawing your own DIY will.
In a nutshell, if you have the knowledge and experience needed to be able to write your own will, you can! However, if you do not know where to start or if you want to be sure that you have done everything right and have a fully enforceable will, hiring an estate attorney will ensure that your estate will be handled exactly as you intend when the time comes. Remember that the information in this blog post is generalized, and if you have further questions, it is best that you talk to an estate attorney.
Whether you need an estate attorney to help draw up your will or just need help making a DIY will, the lawyers at Dreyer and Associates Law can help you! We are committed to preserving the best
interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. We have a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing; although, family law continues to be our focus.