DIY wills are great for families looking to create problems for their spouse, children, and everybody in-between. Event better, DIY wills can make law firms rich and may encourage loved ones to run in the opposite direction.
Of course, you can fix your own car and finish that plumbing job. Electric work and taxes, no problem. These types of matters provide immediate signals on your success. A will does not tell us whether it was successful or not until we are dead and a probate judge is reviewing the document.
Indeed, you can buy a book and create your own estate plan. That aside, here are a few issues to think about about:
- Lack of legal knowledge: A will is a legal document that must meet specific legal requirements. Unless you have a legal background, you may not be familiar with the legal language and formalities required in creating a valid will.
- Complexity of assets: If your assets are complex, such as owning a house, owning a business, or investments, you may need professional help to ensure they are properly accounted for and distributed.
- Family dynamics: If you have a complicated family situation, such as blended families, ex-spouses, or estranged relatives, you may need professional guidance to ensure your will is drafted in a way that clearly reflects your wishes and avoids potential conflicts. In other words, DIY wills for different family dynamics is not a strong move.
- Tax implications: In Minnesota, we have certain tax issues that impact nobody except those who die with Minnesota assets. As a result, you should consider tax implications when drafting your will. A professional can provide guidance on how to minimize taxes and maximize the value of your estate.
- Errors and omissions: Even a small mistake or omission in your will can have significant consequences. A professional can help you avoid errors and ensure your will accurately reflects your intentions.
- Changing laws and regulations: Laws and regulations surrounding wills and estates can change over time. A professional can ensure your will is up-to-date with any changes in the law.
Overall, seeking professional feedback before deciding to engage the DIY wills strategy is more prudent that assuming otherwise. Further, seeking advise can offer peace of mind that your wishes will be accurately reflected and can help prevent potential legal disputes among your loved ones.
Estate Attorney Jasper Berg