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This post was updated on March 31, 2022
According to the old adage, 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. There are instances where you can get the same quality product for less money than it would cost if you were to go to an attorney.
When it comes to planning your estate, this is clearly true — you can absolutely write your own will. Typically, this is the case if your estate is not complex — that is, if you own no business interests or your assets are jointly owned with a spouse or other family member.
In this situation, creating a will online, which you can do at FindLaw Legal Forms & Services (starting at $59), might be the right choice for you. The law, by its nature, is very demanding when it comes to language. If you don't use precise language in the will, it may not be legally binding. Our estate planning forms were created and reviewed by attorneys to ensure that they are properly tailored to be legally binding and enforceable in your state. That means paying an affordable price instead of writing a will yourself is likely the better option.
If your estate is more complex, however, you might consider turning to an attorney for help. If you decide to hire a lawyer 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 multiple homes and automobiles, or various financial assets like stocks and bonds, and maybe even a business? Are you trying to bequeath all those assets to numerous people? Do you want to set up a trust for a certain beneficiary? Is there the possibility that your estate will be subject to federal and state estate taxes? Your will may be more expensive than a simple form.
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.
So if you want expert and affordable legal help drafting your will, contact an experienced estate planning attorney in your area. Again, however, you may be better off doing it yourself with the proper tools.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.