Everyone should have a will. That is a simple fact. If you have children or have any assets at all, it is absolutely essential to have a will. Even those without kids and with minimal possessions can also benefit from having a will since you will still need people to understand what you want to happen at the end of your life.
While you may be tempted to try to create your own will, it is advisable in almost every case to speak with a estate planning attorney. A good estate planning attorney can help you to prepare a will for a very reasonable fee and there are many benefits to having legal advice for this important document.
There are a myriad of reasons why it is important to get legal advice from an estate planning attorney for both simple and complex wills. Some of those reasons include the following:
- An estate planning attorney will make sure your will meets all legal requirements. Of course, you have to be of sound mind and body but there is also more to it than that. Although you can handwrite a will (aka create a “holographic will”) handwritten or improperly prepared wills may not always be enforceable. It is better to have an expert legal professional help you to draft a document that everyone knows is legally enforceable.
- An estate planning attorney will help to ensure that your will contains all necessary provisions. Many people think about dividing their assets and focus on this aspect of creating a will. However, there is more to making a will than just dividing up your stuff. If you have kids, or even pets, you’ll want to make sure you specify who is to care for them. You may wish to provide special funding for their care as well. Your will can also spell out issues such as how you want your funeral to be arranged, which takes the burden off of grieving family members.
- An estate planning attorney will advise you of the tax consequences of your death. For certain families, there are taxable consequences to leaving assets to heirs or to the transfer of assets. Your attorney can help you to better understand what taxes will occur after you die and when your assets are transferred. An estate planning attorney may also have some advice on how to reduce the taxes that are involved so you and your loved ones can keep more of your hard-earned money.
- An estate planning attorney can help to make sure that your wishes are enforced. From making sure the will is drafted properly to helping you to name an executor to advising you on whether to include a no contest clause, your attorney’s expert legal advice will be invaluable.
Your will is one of the most important documents you will create since it helps you to make sure that your legacy lives on as you hope after you are gone. For such an important legal document, it only makes sense to get the best possible expert advice from an estate planning attorney.