Why Drafting a Will on Your Own Might Be a Mistake

Technically speaking, it is possible for you to draft your own will. However, this is rarely a good idea. Wills have certain legal requirements that must be met to be valid, and DIY will-makers rarely have a full understanding of what these legal requirements entail. If your will is determined invalid, your estate will pass using the intestate laws in Oregon. Unfortunately in some circumstances, this can result in all of your property being turned over to the state.

Apart from the legal requirements, there are a variety of other reasons that drafting your own will is a bad idea. Consider the following scenarios:

Conflicts in the Will

Having someone look over any document to prevent errors is a good idea, but it is especially important when drafting will. Some clauses may conflict with one another or lead to an absurd result. In those situations, your will may lead to family fights, stress, and uncertainty about your wishes. In some cases, it can lead to an invalid will as well.

Triggering Conflicts Among Family Members

When there are conflicts in a will, they can lead to struggles between family members. While arguments may not seem that important right now, they can result in legal implications after you pass. By drafting your own will, you may have just imposed significant legal fees on your loved ones as they attempt to work out your wishes.

Contingency Plans

Drafting a will that deals with every situation that may occur in the future is impossible. However, experienced estate planning attorneys have language and processes that minimize the possibility that your will leaves your belongings to someone who has predeceased you. You may not see the alternatives that are necessary, but an experienced attorney will recognize them and make suggestions on how you should address these.

Improper Execution of Formalities

There are a number of key formalities which must be properly executed in order to effectively and lawfully draft and execute a will. Even a minor failure regarding these common law requirements can make things costly, burdensome, or just flat out impossible. It is far easier than you might imagine to make a mistake when drafting a will. If you fail to properly execute the necessary formalities, it may totally invalidate the document.

Getting Help with Your Will

Although you may think you are saving money by doing your own will, you are often simply costing your family members and loved ones more money down the road. They will have to pay an attorney and administrative fees to determine what you meant when you wrote your will. You can avoid imposing this burden on your family members by using an experienced estate attorney to help you with your will. Call ClarkeGriffin, LLC at 503-543-4800 to set up an appointment.

Written by Clarke Griffin

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