You’ve probably heard of or, unfortunately, witnessed the blood feuds and family drama that spark up after losing a loved one. There might be a family heirloom waiting in the wings. But your brother snags it up. This brings up the temptation to leave the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s, Bad Blood, on his voicemail.
Inheritance disputes can last decades and quickly turn a time of grieving into family feuds that not even Steve Harvey can quell. Nonetheless, it’s not all doom and gloom. The good news is that this nightmare can be prevented with a will.
Now, you‘re probably entangled in a web of confusion pondering on two valid questions: “Do I need a lawyer for a will? Should I craft one from scratch?”
In today’s digital era, where all it takes is a YouTube video or a DIY blog to learn how to craft one. There’s unlimited information that creates the illusion that you can bypass a lawyer for an easier and cheaper fix.
Do you need a lawyer? No! But, can you craft an excellent and valid will that will hold up in court? Probably not! The truth is you need the expertise of a lawyer to come up with a will or trust that’ll keep you’ll keep family feuds at bay. Here are some reasons why. But first:
What is a Will?
You’re probably familiar with the concept of a will. However, discuss the nitty-gritty details of what it is and why it’s important.
Will refers to a legal document that precisely states who receives what portion of assets after you pass on. It’s a means of protecting your financial wishes and leaving your belongings to your beneficiaries. Moreover, you can come up with a will at any age, particularly if you have dependents or have begun amassing wealth.
So, what is the difference between a will and a trust? To answer this question, you’ll need to understand:
What is a Trust?
It’s a legally binding arrangement whereby you, as the settler, transfer ownership of your assets to specific people (trustees). So, what is a trust fund? It’s the entity in which the said assets are held on trust for its beneficiaries.
Despite a trust being associated with blue blood families or moguls, a trust fund makes sense if you want to leave $40,000, for instance, for a grandchild to complete to their education.
There are various types of trusts that serve different purposes. But they all have a constant basic structure. Given that a will takes effect when you die, a trust (living trust) is effective as soon as it’s signed. In a family trust, the settlor and beneficiaries all belong to one family group. It’s, therefore, an instrument to pass on the assets in a trust fund to future generations.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Wills and Trusts
Save energy and time: Crafting a will or trust is no easy feat and taking matters into your own hands will quickly snuff out your time and energy. So, handing this tedious process to a topnotch attorney will take the load off your shoulders.
It is complex: Coming up with a well-written will or trust that’ll guarantee the satisfaction of the parties involved, is not a walk in the park. It’s the perfect ‘cocktail’ of science and art. Therefore, one word or phrase can be the undoing of a will or trust.
Furthermore, the law is constantly changing and so are the rules of the game. Being their line of work, it’s only an experienced attorney who would remain up to date with these changes.
One chance: After shuffling off this mortal coil, how many chances do you have to get your will or trust, right? Only one! Sure, there’s always the option for a do-over, but what if you kick the bucket before you get the chance to?
You’d be out of luck. Furthermore, your will or trust may require updating as a result of any applicable or big life updates that you’ll want a qualified lawyer to help you address.
Objectivity: Coupled with expertise, a will and trust lawyer will provide much-needed objectivity. You may not realize it at first, but you’ll need an extra voice of reason to bear on the future and current estate planning needs.
For instance, is it a smart move to entrust your entire estate to your 22-year old daughter? A competent lawyer can offer unbiased, direct, and unvarnished advice.
Change is the only constant in your life: As your life changes, so does your will or trust. For instance, your family tree may grow, you get divorced, or your financial situation takes a turn for the worse or better. Such life events necessitate alterations to your will or trust. So, here’s where a lawyer swoops in to fine-tune things.
Save money: With a DIY trust or will, you may end up incurring more costs in the long run, ranging from taxes to court fees. It’s, therefore, in your best interest economically and more straightforward to use a flat rate with a lawyer. They’ll know where to look and know the right questions to ask that’ll steer towards optimum financial benefits.
Cheap is expensive: In a bid to cut down costs, you opt for a DIY trust or will for your estate planning. But down the road, your family is in for a rude shock upon discovering that part of this will or trust isn’t legally valid or doesn’t fully serve its intended purpose. Your loved ones will then be forced to foot costs that may run into thousands of dollars for a topnotch lawyer to rectify your mistakes.
The Bottom Line
Sure, you can take the DIY route. But a will and trust lawyer is your go-to when it comes to guaranteeing accuracy and validity without leaving anything out. They have the uncanny ability to ensure that all your t’s are crossed, and I’s are dotted. So, they’re your best bet when it comes to ensuring that your wishes are fulfilled.
If “find the best will and trust lawyers near me” is your next course of action, then our legal experts are happy to help.