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A self-created last will and testament may lead to problems.

As an early step in estate planning, you may be tempted to write your own will. There are some good reasons why you shouldn’t. While do-it-yourself wills may be cost effective and make the process of will creation relatively simple, they also have shortcomings.

DIY wills tend toward the basic and generic. The more complex your estate, the more their templates and language may prove insufficient. They are written to comply with laws in all 50 states, but not necessarily laws specific to your state. Estate tax law, itself, can vary widely from state to state. (A person who owns homes or rental property in multiple states, for example, may be poorly served by a DIY will.)1

Their fine print warns you not to fully trust them. Typically, they contain a disclaimer that tells you to consult an attorney, stating that the information they present to you does not represent legal advice.1

Write or revise your will with the help of estate planning professionals. The expense is worth it, especially if your estate is not small. Do you have questions pertaining to estate planning or wealth transfer? Please call me or email me to share them.

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Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Patriot Financial Group, a registered investment advisor. Patriot Financial Group and Summit Star Financial are separate entities from LPL Financial.

1 TheBalance.com, "Should You Write Your Own Will?" (May 8, 2017)

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