In this article
- 1 Complex asset distribution
- 2 Avoiding probate
- 3 Reducing the risk of a challenge
- 4 Addressing special circumstances
- 5 Minimizing taxes
- 6 Providing peace of mind
- 7 Will and Estate Planning Attorney in Washington, DC.
Making a will is a proactive measure you may take to make sure your loved ones are taken care of when you pass away.
You might be asking yourself, however: Why do I need a lawyer to draft my will? I can do that by myself, right?
Though it is feasible to create a will on your own, working with a lawyer is frequently preferable for a few good reasons.
You want to ensure that your will is properly executed and that your loved ones will receive the inheritance you intend for them.
Working with a lawyer is crucial if you want to make sure your will is written properly. A lawyer can assist you in drafting a will that complies with all applicable legal requirements and that the court will uphold.
Complex asset distribution
One of the main benefits of having a lawyer create your will is that they can help you to distribute your assets in a way that is both efficient and fair.
When you die, your assets will be passed on to your beneficiaries. However, if you don’t have a will in place, the court will decide how to distribute them—and this process can be long, costly, and frustrating for your loved ones.
A lawyer can help you to create a will that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed. This can include specifying who should inherit your property, money, and other belongings.
The process of creating a will can be complex, so it’s important to work with an experienced professional who can help you to navigate the legal landscape.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a lawyer to create your will is that it can help you avoid probate.
Probate is the legal process of settling a deceased person’s estate, and it can be expensive, time-consuming, and public.
By creating a will with a lawyer, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and that there will be minimal fuss and delay after your death.
Your loved ones won’t have to go through the hassle of probate, and they’ll be able to get on with their lives sooner.
Reducing the risk of a challenge
If you’re wondering whether or not you need a lawyer to write your will, the answer is undoubtedly yes.
A will written without the help of an attorney puts your estate at risk of being challenged in court.
There are a number of reasons why a will might be contested, but some of the most common are if the testator (the person making the will) was coerced into making certain provisions, if they were suffering from dementia or another mental illness at the time the will was made, or if they were unduly influenced by another person.
In order to reduce the risk of a challenge, it’s important to have a will that is well-written and properly executed.
This is something that only a lawyer can provide for you. They’ll make sure that all the legal requirements are met and that your will is airtight.
Addressing special circumstances
Writing a will can be more complicated than it appears on the surface.
What if you have a special circumstance such as minor children, a disabled beneficiary, or an estate that needs to be divided up in a specific way? Working with an attorney can help you ensure these special circumstances are addressed.
Without the input of an attorney, you may miss out on important details or overlook potential problems that could arise in the future.
Your lawyer can help you draft language that ensures your wishes are carried out and also helps your family avoid a long, drawn-out probate court process.
For example, if you have minor children and wish to appoint someone to make guardianship decisions for them should something happen to you and your spouse, your lawyer can provide guidance as to how best to achieve this without leaving room for ambiguity.
Additionally, they may suggest adding trust provisions into your will so that assets are managed appropriately until all beneficiaries are of legal age.
Having a lawyer draft a will is essential if you’re looking to minimize taxes. A lawyer is in the best position to provide expert advice on how to minimize your estate and gift taxes and maximize your assets for your heirs.
Furthermore, lawyers can use certain techniques, such as trusts and other documents, to minimize inheritance tax liability for future generations.
A lawyer can also provide legal advice if you’re gifting money or other assets during your lifetime. This kind of planning can help ensure that the gifts won’t be subject to federal gift or estate taxes (which could save your family members thousands of dollars later on).
And with the help of a lawyer, you can be confident that all of the necessary documents have been filled out and filed correctly (a critical step in ensuring that all of your wishes are met after you pass away without any added burden on your family members).
Providing peace of mind
It’s all too common for people to put off creating their will, despite the importance of doing so.
And it’s easy to see why—the concept of death isn’t particularly pleasant. But when you work with a lawyer on your will, you can be sure that your wishes will be followed and your loved ones will receive what you intended them to.
Your lawyer can provide peace of mind that the document drafted is valid and legally binding and that the heirs identified within the will receive their inheritance without delay.
Your lawyer can also check that all of the assets mentioned in the future are in line with your wishes—and if anything should change, such as a family member passing away, or maybe even gaining another heir (like when an unexpected grandchild is born), they’re there to point out any changes or implications that must be made in order for your will to be valid.
A lawyer is also an invaluable asset when it comes time to execute and share the terms of a will; they understand what needs to happen after you have passed away, such as obtaining any documentation needed to prove ownership and updating any estate accounts that need to be closed or opened.
Can’t I just utilize a will-writing service online?
Online will-writing services can be more affordable and practical, but they could not give the same degree of legal experience and specialized care that a lawyer can.
How much does it usually cost to have a lawyer create a will?
The cost of hiring a lawyer to create your will might vary depending on a variety of variables, including the complexity of your estate, the lawyer’s experience, and their hourly charge. However, a lot of attorneys provide will drafting services at flat rates, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Should I not have a will, what happens?
In the absence of a will, the court will distribute your assets in accordance with state law, which could not reflect your preferences. As a result, there may also be costly and time-consuming family conflicts and legal issues.
After it has been drafted, can I make changes to my will?
If you’re mentally capable, you can update or modify your will whenever you’d like. It’s critical to maintain your will updated with any life changes, such as marriages, divorces, babies, or funerals, to make sure that your preferences are appropriately recorded.
Will and Estate Planning Attorney in Washington, DC.
Planning for the future is important, and creating a will is a proactive step to ensure your loved ones are taken care of. Working with a lawyer can help you draft a will that is legally sound and addresses your unique circumstances. Contact us to learn more.