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Creating a Will: Do You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

Last Will and Testament estate planning document with a ballpoint pen.

Make sure your Last Will and Testament accurately reflects your wishes.

Securing your legacy is one of the most important things you can do for your family and for your own peace of mind. You need an estate plan, and the foundation of an estate plan is your Last Will and Testament: the document that explains your final wishes and designates who will receive your money and property.

Legally, you aren't required to have an estate planning lawyer to draft a Will. Indeed, do-it-yourself Wills have become more common in recent years. But writing a Will on your own is risky, and those risks may not play out until after your passing, when your family is working through the grief and impact of their loss. Having an attorney draft your Last Will and Testament provides invaluable peace of mind.

The difference an estate planning attorney can make

Estate planning is a complex process that requires significant experience and legal acumen to get right. It's also an inherently emotionally fraught process, so having an objective, outside perspective on your estate plan is invaluable. Some benefits of working with an estate planning attorney to create your Last Will and Testament include:

  • Making sure your entire estate is accounted for. An estate planning lawyer can make sure all of your assets are accounted for in your Last Will and Testament, even those that you might otherwise overlook. This reduces the risk that your heirs will have to deal with controversy after your passing.
  • Choosing the right personal representative. Your personal representative, also known as an executor, is responsible for executing your Will; that is, managing your assets after your passing and distributing them to your beneficiaries and heirs. There are many factors that go into choosing a personal representative, and an experienced attorney can help you weigh those factors to make the right choice.
  • Avoiding errors and ambiguities. Remember, when your Last Will and Testament is executed, you won't be there to correct any mistakes or clarify any ambiguous language. Your Will has to be flawless in order to accurately represent your wishes. A meticulous estate planning attorney can make sure your last wishes are spoken clearly.
  • Planning for contingencies. What if your chosen personal representative predeceases you or is otherwise unable to do the job? What if your assets or family situation change significantly before your passing? You can always update your Will, but in case you don't have the opportunity or capacity to do that, it's important to build contingency plans into the Will itself.
  • Reducing the risk of a contested or rejected Will. Will contests are thankfully rare, but they are more likely to happen if the deceased wasn't represented by an attorney. A skilled estate planning lawyer can carefully review your Last Will and Testament and ensure that it is likely to survive the court's scrutiny.

Lock down your legacy with our experienced estate law attorneys

There are as many possibilities for estate planning as there are people, but everyone needs a Will, and everyone needs the peace of mind that comes from experienced legal counsel. Don't take chances with your legacy. Give us a call or contact us online to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer at Hocker Law, LLC.

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