If you haven’t made a will, you’re missing out on an opportunity to ensure that your possessions are distributed in the manner you’d like. It’s also an easy way to set up guardianship for children if you have them. Ultimately, it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.

You Are Not Required to Use a Lawyer

A lawyer can help you create a will that meets your specific needs and legal requirements. He can also provide advice on other estate-planning techniques, such as living trusts or power of attorney documents.

No matter how you decide to draft your will, it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer before making any important decisions. He can make sure that the document you’re creating will be valid in your state, and help you avoid pitfalls along the way.

The Do-It-Yourself Approach

Writing a will isn’t difficult, but it can be confusing and intimidating. Thankfully, there are many resources available to guide you through the process and ensure that your will is free from errors.

You can hire a will-writing service that offers professional assistance for a fee or purchase a will-writing program online for no cost. Some will-writing services will even send you a drafted will to review, according to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

However, you should be aware that drafting your own will can be risky and expensive. A will-writing company should only be used if it’s been well-reviewed by attorneys, and its work will be vetted by professionals to ensure it’s legal.

Your Will Needs to Follow State Requirements

Each state has its own laws concerning how your property should be distributed upon death, and those laws can vary by region. For example, in Texas, your property will be distributed by intestacy laws if you die without a will. Recommended this site Washington DC accident lawyer .

This can leave your estate divided among a number of distant relatives, and it could lead to expensive legal disputes and probate proceedings. Instead, you should create a will that clearly states how your assets are to be divided and names an executor who will carry out those instructions.

Your Will Needs to Be Signed by a Witness and Notarized

In most states, you are required to sign your will in front of two witnesses and get it notarized. Notarization makes the process of settling your estate easier for inheritors and can help expedite the probate court’s review of your will.

You should also make a self-proving affidavit to accompany your will, which a notary can read and verify for you. This affidavit can help you avoid the need to go through expensive probate proceedings when your will is challenged.

There are also free will-writing guides available in bookstores and libraries, as well as online will-writing software that can guide you through the process. In addition, your state’s department of aging can direct you to free or low-cost resources for estate planning.