Books, websites, and online estate planning services often make preparing a will seem like a project that can be easily handled without an attorney. However, the process can be deceptively complex, and even minor mistakes can spark protracted legal battles, cause confusion, or even give the probate court reason to disregard your will entirely. Below are a few reasons to hire an estate planning attorney when preparing a will.
Writing a Will? Why You Need an Attorney
Ensuring Your Wishes Are Followed
When preparing a will, it’s important to express your wishes clearly, and leave detailed instructions regarding every aspect of your estate. A comprehensive estate plan should include your financial assets and valuables, along with items of sentimental value. You might think your family knows how you intend these possessions to be distributed, but the only way to make your wishes legally enforceable is to include them in your will. Your will should also anticipate unexpected family changes and provide instruction if those events occur. Your attorney can help you anticipate and provide those events.
Preventing Family Conflicts
Uncertainties in your will can open the door to legal challenges, potentially launching extended, expensive probate litigation. These conflicts, many of which are caused by honest misunderstandings, can cause feuds that can tear apart even tightly knit families. A will prepared by an attorney will clearly express your wishes in unambiguous language, leaving little room for legal battles that can drain your estate.
Making Your Will Legally Valid
Every state has strict guidelines determining the validity of a will. In Wisconsin, for example, the document must be signed by the testator, along with two other witnesses. Other states may only require a single witness, or only recognize wills that have been notarized. With their expertise, your estate planning attorney will ensure that your will is legally valid and fully enforceable.
Preparing a will is a complex, often overwhelming process, which is why clients throughout central and northcentral Wisconsin rely on Alan A. Panek Law Office, S.C. for legal expertise and compassionate service. With their estate planning background, they will provide a comprehensive plan that protects your assets and your loved ones. Visit their website for a look at their legal services, or call (715) 421-4900 to speak with a lawyer.