Can I create a Will without a Lawyer?
We have previously posted about the reasons as to why many put off completing a Will. One reason has to do with the fact that people are wary of discussing their personal matters with a lawyer. Many are unaware that they can, in fact, draft up a Will without a lawyer. You do not need a lawyer to create a Will for you, and if your estate and assets are straightforward, you can draft a Will yourself using online will software.
If you choose to create a Will without a lawyer, you may want to think about what goes into your Will, including the following: a clause revoking former Wills and testaments, specification of your city/town, appointing an executor or person who will carry out the terms of your Will, appointing alternate executor(s), etc. You also want to ensure that you have a fairly good idea as to where your assets, estate, gifts, charitable donations, etc., are all going to go. In addition, you want to have a good idea as to who the potential Guardian of your underage children will be. This can be done through online Will software, without a lawyer. If you feel you require legal advice, however, you may want assistance from a lawyer.
If you choose to create a Will without a lawyer, you need to initialize and sign the document in the correct places. You may want to have two independent witnesses localized within your area to witness and sign in the document in the correct places as well. That is all you require to make your Legal Will valid, without a lawyer. Notarizing documents is a question that often arises as well; people question if they need to have their Will notarized by a lawyer. Notarization is essentially a seal or a stamp on your document, which shows that the document is authentic. Notarization may only be necessary for a Power of Attorney and it is not necessary for a Last Will and Testament. How are these documents different from a Last Will and Testament? A Power of Attorney is a document that deals with your financial matters while you are alive, and a Living Will deals with your health matters while you are alive. Both documents are vastly different from a Will, which only deals with matters relating to your estate/assets AFTER your death. Unlike a Will, a Power of Attorney may require notarization, but all three documents can be created without a lawyer present. Again, if you require legal advice, you may want to seek the assistance of a lawyer.
Those are the basic items you need to know about creating a Will without a lawyer, how to make a Will valid, what notarization entails, and what the difference is between a Will, a Power of Attorney and a Living Will.