There’s an old adage that says you get what you pay for. Essentially, something that’s free is of little value, and things that cost more are higher in quality. And while that’s generally true, there are always exceptions, and there are instances where you can get the same quality product for less money, or even for free if you do it yourself.
But are wills one of those instances? How much are you going to need to spend to have a legally binding will?
Will It Work?
In this case, the old adage might be right. Yes, you can absolutely write your own will. Whether that will can be enforceable after your death is a whole other matter. Law, by its nature, is very demanding when it comes to language, and few areas of the law are as exacting as estate planning when it comes to using very specific language as a means to very specific ends. So, even if you meet all the jurisdictional requirements of witness signatures, notarization, and inclusion of specific provisions (and some states require that a will be typed, not handwritten), if you don’t use precise and proper language in the will, it may not be legally binding.
So your will could be free, if you write it yourself, and we even provide sample wills for you to use. But, as they say, you get what you pay for.
Cost of Legal Work on Wills
If you decide to hire an attorney to draft your will, the cost could vary quite a bit. First, it will depend on how complicated your estate is. Do you own a lot of different physical assets, like real property, a home, and multiple automobiles, or various financial assets like stocks and bonds, and maybe even a business? And are you trying to bequeath all those assets to numerous people? Your will may be more expensive than a simple devise of one or two large assets to a single spouse or heir.
Additionally, the cost of a lawyer will vary depending on their expertise. Your husband’s cousin who just graduated from law school may not be as expensive as a 15-year veteran attorney specializing in wills and estates. But, again, you get what you pay for. And not hiring an attorney may be more expensive in the long run.
So if you want expert and affordable legal help drafting your will, contact an experienced wills attorney in your area.