What you need to know about DIY wills

Everyone needs a will. No matter how simple you think your situation is, it’s best to have one. And, it may be simpler to create a will than you might think. Online resources now provide you with the tools and software you need to create your own will without ever visiting an attorney’s office. Keeps these tips in mind before making a decision on how — or if — you’re going to create a do-it-yourself (DIY) will.   

DIY  wills can be beneficial
There plenty of websites that allow you to create a document inexpensively. This is usually much cheaper than visiting your local attorney. Some sites even have attorneys available to assist you. As a result, you have everything you need at your fingertips to create a legal expression of your wishes. All while enjoying the comfort of your own home, at a time when it’s most convenient for you.

Be aware of the risks
While a DIY will offers speed and convenience, it’s possible important details could fall through the cracks. An incomplete document can raise questions about your original intentions. This confusion may cause conflict between your loved ones and lead to legal problems.

With an online will, you won’t have a personal relationship with an attorney who knows your personal situation. Their advice could prove beneficial in writing and reviewing the document. Also, wills need to be updated over time. Without an attorney to consult with, you take the risk of your will becoming outdated without you realizing it.

It’s your choice
If you have a simple situation, creating a will by filling in the blanks using online software may be enough. If you have a complicated situation, such as having disabled/dependent children or owning assets in several states or even multiple marriages, then consulting an attorney can help protect against missed details. Having a valid will that expresses your wishes correctly is important. Wills not executed properly may be invalid. Small things like a blank not filled in, a missing signature, or a problem with witnesses or beneficiaries, can lead to an invalid will.

DIY wills can be convenient and inexpensive, but they’re not for everyone. Make sure you choose the method that is going to clearly cover your wishes and keep things as simple as possible for your loved ones.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.

The article provided is for informational purposes only. Contact an estate planning attorney for additional guidance.