A quick internet search will reveal any number of online will preparation aids that claim they can help you make your own will cheaper and faster than you could if you hired an attorney. They are correct. Making your own will using a software kit or do-it-yourself guide will be much cheaper and faster than it would be if you go through the process of hiring a lawyer to help you do it. But faster and cheaper doesn’t mean better. Here’s why.
Reason 1: The software is out of date. The law is not set in stone. It changes every year, and not just with new legislation but also because of new court decisions. A lawyer has to keep track of these changes and make sure he or she adjusts his advice to match. Software may be updated, but there is no guarantee it is up-to-date.
Reason 2: The software is wrong or incomplete. Creating a will to meet state legal minimums is fine, but there is more to a will that what the law requires. If you leave out key clauses and specific provisions that aren’t required under state statutes, and may not be present in will software, you can cause your estate numerous problems when the will is probated.
Reason 3: It isn’t legal advice. DIY guides cannot give you advice. Even assuming your will creation software is correct about everything, that doesn’t mean you should make the will you want to make. Your lawyer can tell you what you can and should do to get the most benefit under the law.
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