DIY or DI-Don’t? Why You Shouldn’t Write Your Own Will

There are a lot of interesting trends coming out of the coronavirus pandemic: sourdough baking, crafting, virtual parties, and DIY legal services. While it’s fairly easy to lookup sourdough recipes (even if it’s not so easy to find flour), writing your own will or navigating your own divorce are both a little more complicated.

Should you even try to write your own will? We’re taking a closer look, so grab yourself a slice of that sourdough and a cup of coffee before reading on!

Estate Planning During Coronavirus

There are two reasons why so many people are looking to DIY their estate planning, particularly their will making. First, of course, is the deadly pandemic. With over 76,000 deaths in the United States — a number that’s climbing each and every day — it understandable that people are thinking about their own mortality.

People who have been healthy and haven’t given much thought to their estate are considering what might happen if they do become ill.

Secondly, it’s harder than usual to visit professionals such as attorneys. While just about every lawyer is offering consultations via telephone or video conferencing, for some people it makes more sense to try the online and DIY routes first.

Lastly, this method of drawing up a will is also much less expensive than booking time and services with an attorney. For people with relatively uncomplicated financials, writing your own will could even be free. With so many folks facing reduced employment or unemployment during stay-at-home mandates, free is awfully attractive these days.

But Should You Write Your Own Will?

The answer to this question is, like so many answers to so many questions nowadays, is complicated. “How hard can it be?” you might ask, “especially with online forms?”

The problem is, the forms that you can get online are usually generated by computer software that is geared toward the lowest (or at least broadest) common denominator. For starters, it’s meant to be applicable to residents of all U.S. states and commonwealths.

It will also be hard-pressed to address complicated familial relationships, financial circumstances, and other individual scenarios.

Do you really want your family to be left struggling to make sense of a one-size-fits-all will and testament after your death? Are you willing to have your estate contested in court because a DIY document doesn’t cover all the possibilities? Are you comfortable with leaving your children uncared for, if the will isn’t ironclad?

Don’t Leave Your Legacy to Chance

In reality, the cost saving of writing your own will is specious. Your family will be the ones to pay, in the long run, if you try to cut costs now.

And the costs of having an attorney’s help with estate planning is probably a lot less than you think. When you break it down, it is worthwhile for peace of mind — your own and your family’s — to get things taken care of by a professional.

Stick to DIY Baking

Making your own bread, remodeling your bathroom, knitting your own hats: these are things you can and should do yourself. Write your own will? Not so much.

Give Monastra & Grater, LLC a call to start the estate planning process.