Wills and trusts are common ways you can convey your assets to other individuals upon your death, according to Cornell University School of Law. You may have reached a place in life that you feel the need to prepare a will. In addition, you may wonder if you should retain an attorney to assist you in preparing it. There are a number of factors to bear in mind when you consider whether or not to hire a lawyer for this service.
For lack of a better term, there are a large number of form factories or stores located online through which you can purchase forms to create your own will. Form factories present a number of problems.
- There is absolutely no guarantee that the particular form will meet muster when it comes to the legality of a will in the state in which you live.
- Laws change with some regularity, and at a minimum, it is very possible that these forms may not be up to date.
The same holds true for other types of do-it-yourself will kits that are available in the brick and mortar world. You simply cannot be assured that a particular form will be up to snuff when it comes to probate and estate laws in your state.
The Cost of Hiring an Attorney
A major reason for why you may balk at retaining legal counsel to assist in will preparation is the cost involved in hiring a lawyer. The fact is, it’s not uncommon for attorneys to charge a minimal fee for the preparation of a will, particularly if it’s a “simple will.” The idea is that, for a lawyer, the preparation of a will is a entry service he or she can provide for you. The hope is that you will return in the future when you have complex legal needs for which the attorney can charge more.
In addition, some attorneys may provide you with a package of affordable services that include the drafting of a will and the creation of a durable power of attorney for health care, or other types of vital instruments that may prove beneficial to you in the long term.
Getting It Done Right
The worst scenario is that you prepare a will on your own, perhaps using a will from a form factory, and when you pass away the will proves to be invalid. As a result, your most important wishes may not get carried out upon your death.
With the professional assistance of an estate lawyer, you’re placed in the best possible position to have a carefully crafted and legally binding last will and testament. Moreover, if an issue arises regarding your will after your passing, an attorney or law firm you pre-chose can assist in making sure your wishes are carried out as you had intended.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
You can obtain more information about how an estate lawyer can assist you in preparing a will by scheduling what is called an initial consultation. During an initial consultation, a qualified estate attorney can provide you an evaluation of your situation. A lawyer can also answer any questions that you might have regarding your estate and the need for a will. Finally, an estate lawyer typically charges no fee for an initial consultation with you. Thus, you literally are out nothing by taking the step to at least explore your options when it comes to retaining an experienced Peoria IL probate attorney to draft your will.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Smith & Weer, P.C. for their insight into probate law and wills.