Although the internet makes it easy to procure information about how to write a will, spending time with a probate attorney to flesh out a properly composed document seems prudent. You can write your own will, get it notarized, and even bring witnesses to ascertain the notarization, but there can be problems when the time comes to probate the will. If the language used to craft the will turns out to be confusing, the door could be opened to challenges or delays.
Devising Clear and Reliable Language
Language means things in contracts. Ambiguous language can undermine the effectiveness and intention of the document. Anything that could create questions about the will's legitimacy might lead someone to contest it. Even if the argument for contesting the will is shaky, delays could result, as contesting the will would drag out the probate process. Working with an attorney has many benefits that writing a do-it-yourself will might not. When you have an attorney draw up a will, for example, the attorney can testify as a witness if someone contests the document. The attorney can testify about how the will reflects the decedent's wishes.
The Attorney: Witness and Testimony
How does the process generally work? An attorney schedules a formal meeting with someone who is interested in drawing up a will. During the meeting, the attorney can evaluate whether the directions indicated in the will are what the person wants. An experienced wills and probate law attorney would likely become suspicious if someone appeared to be under duress. Those attempting to influence someone when writing a DIY will may find success more elusive.
Crafting Conclusive Language
If someone already wrote a DIY will, bringing the document to an attorney for "improvements" might be helpful. The attorney need not alter the intentions of the drafted self-produced will, but he/she could revise the material. This way, the text will be better understood and, hopefully, hold up in court. Ambiguous wording won't prove helpful when the time comes to probate the will. Everything needs to be clearly written and easily understood. Things become complicated when the judge has to figure out what a poorly written, confusing will says. A clear and detailed one, however, does not present these types of problems. Oversights aren't likely when hiring a probate attorney.
Maybe now is the right time to schedule an appointment to meet with an attorney about revising a will.