Can you do a homemade will?
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This video is for informative purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Small details can have big consequences. Want to know more about Estate Planning, schedule a free consultation with us.
Legally, yes, you can do a homemade will, but it should come with some caution. It's kind of like any other do-it-yourself project. You need to make sure that you've got the information that you need or you're not going to get the results that you want. There's a couple of pieces to that.
The first is just getting the document right. Sometimes we see people who come in with documents that aren't valid for one reason or another. They've got witnesses who are not allowed to be witnesses, or they have no witnesses at all. Sometimes they're missing a piece of it. That's called the self-proving affidavit. That really helps with the court process.
Sometimes the will itself has language that doesn't make sense when you put it under a legal microscope that a court might say, "Hey, this is ambiguous", and we have to go through a whole other process to determine what was actually intended.
A bigger part, though, for me is a lot of times people will do a will thinking that it's going to help them in a way that's not. A will is always going to require going through court. And I've had lots of people who say, "Oh, my mom had a will done. We don't have to go to court now". And that's just not the case. So if you're going to do your own will, not only do you need to understand exactly how structurally to put the document together and what is legally required for it to be a binding document, but you also have to understand how it works in the machinery of the law and what it's going to actually accomplish for you.
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