This is a question many people ask before hiring an estate planning lawyer. The short answer to the question is: certainty. Having your will prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney means that you will be certain that your wishes will be carried out.
It is not advisable to prepare a will on your own, because if a will is not properly prepared, your assets will not pass to the people you would prefer. Without a will or with an improperly prepared will, your assets will pass to your “heirs at law.”
Consider the following example:
A 60 year old woman decides she would like to leave her home to her favorite grandson. Like many people, her home is her most valuable asset. However, her self-prepared will either wasn’t prepared properly, she lost the original, or never had a will prepared at all. So instead of the her home passing to her favorite grandson, the property will pass to her “heirs at law.” No big deal, right? Wrong!
In this example, the 60 year old woman had five children, three of whom died before she did. Those three children that predeceased her each had three children of their own. This means that because there was no will or the self-prepared will was inadequate, there are now 11 heirs at law who after a probate proceeding will all be co-owners of her home together. Those 11 people will have to agree to sign a deed to transfer her property to the grandson or to sell the property. If they don’t agree, there are other costly legal proceedings that are required before the property can be sold.
This is but one example of how a lack of estate planning can frustrate your attempts to provide for your loved ones upon your passing. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you navigate this and other pitfalls that arise in estate planning.
Call or email us today to find out how we can help.