Why Do You Need A Last Will?
A person's last will and testament is his or her final statement to the world. It is sort of like a time capsule that everyone is entitled to produce, a document that will establish a person's legacy. The great beauty of a final will and testament is that it may be the only way a person can communicate his or her legacy precisely. Without a will, a man or woman's leaves the entire record of his or her life in the hands of family members or perhaps even strangers – historians who have no interest in preserving his or her legacy but rather simply wish to record it and leave analysis and interpretation to others.
So, to say the least, a will is an important document for anyone who is interested in making sure his or her life is remembered and honored with due respect by the world. Below we compile a few ideas that experts on preparing effective, high quality last will and testaments offer to anyone diving into this project for themselves.
Determining whether a lawyer is necessary
The first thing to consider in writing a last will and testament is whether it is necessary to delegate the job to a lawyer. It may be surprising to learn that lawyers are not always required in this matter, and, in fact, many people successful wills have been simply hand-written informally with no particular concern for using “legal “language. In short, there is no magic formula for writing a last will and testament, and, though it becomes a formal legal instrument upon one's death, there is no requirement that it include specific features or that it be worded in any particular fashion. It is the job of courts to interpret each will as it is presented by family members or friends of the deceased upon his or her death and to make rulings on how the will be applied to practical matters remaining behind for the loved ones. But the court will simply work with what it has, the best that it can, no matter whether it is written by an attorney, by a layman working on behalf of the deceased, or by the deceased himself.
In general, experts advise anyone considering writing a last will and testament to take into account his or her circumstances. If the person's belongings and legacy will be simple to disperse (because they are few or because there is little likelihood that family members will question or dispute them) then hiring a lawyer to do the job may be unnecessary. On the contrary, if a man or woman has many assets of which to disperse or has unique conditions or requirements in his or her final wishes, hiring a lawyer will likely be the best way to assure that the terms of the will are enforced exactly as the deceased intends.
The most important thing to remember about whether to consult (or hire) an attorney to prepare a last will and testament is simple that the document, in the end, will likely be interpreted by a judge who speaks “legalize.” If the document can be successfully communicated to a judge – no matter whether it adheres to formal legal language – it will be sufficient, no matter who writes it. In many cases, however, a person who wishes to write his or her own last will and testament will have little confidence.