Why an Attorney Should Draft Your Will
Considering one can find almost any legal document online, people often wonder if it is worth hiring an attorney to draft the last will and testament, living trust, and other estate planning documents. The answer is unequivocally, “Yes.” Although one may derive some bias in this author’s response, the response originates from experience.
Many of the problems discovered during probate arise due to online documents. Quite simply, one can hardly replace the independence and the process an attorney offers. For instance, if the will is contested in court, then the attorney may be able to testify about the specific item being contested. In addition, the attorney may have notes or other certified documents that relate to the conditions of the will signing.
Other issues arise regarding the accuracy of the documents. For instance, did someone change the terms of the original will? Did the trustor really place property into a revocable living trust? Again, serious inquisitions regarding these matters can often be quickly dismissed by using an attorney for one’s estate planning needs.
Finally, most attorneys provide their contact information on each of the estate planning documents one drafts. It is reciting to the world, “Hey, I drafted this document. If you think a problem may exist, you should contact me.” For those that want do cause problems, it acts as a deterrent. For those that have bona fide questions, it provides a contact for more information.
A person’s estate planning documents often serves as his/her last statement to friends and family. When organized and well-drafted, the will and trust provide one last endearment from the grave. When short-cuts are taken, that message may be lost due to potential conflicts.
Robert Newton is an attorney based in Frisco, Texas, that practices estate planning, business law, corporate law, and real estate law. This post is meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.