Is it possible to write your own Will? Is it possible to write your own Will?

Can I Write My Own Will and Have It Notarized?

As you plan for the future, creating a last will and testament is one of the most important legal documents you can put in place. A will allows you to designate how your assets and property should be distributed after you pass away according to your final wishes.

While hiring an estate attorney to draft your will is always recommended to ensure it complies with your state’s laws and probate procedures, for some people creating their own simple will and having it notarized by a public notary is a more affordable option.

If you have a modest estate and wish to distribute your assets in a straightforward manner, drafting and notarizing your own will can be done. However, there are some key considerations and requirements to keep in mind to properly execute a legally binding will on your own.

Should I Write My Own Will or Hire an Attorney?

While you are able to draft your own legally valid will, hiring an estate planning attorney is typically the wisest approach. An attorney can help ensure your will is comprehensive and fulfills your specific needs and desires. There are several reasons to consider consulting an attorney for preparing your will:

  1. An attorney has the expertise to draft a will that properly addresses your assets and accounts for state laws. They can help avoid ambiguities or omissions that could lead to disputes or unintended consequences.
  2. An attorney can counsel you on planning strategies to minimize taxes and administrative costs. They are able to create more complex wills that incorporate trusts and other mechanisms to achieve your estate planning goals.
  3. Notarizing a will yourself does not provide the same level of validation as when prepared by a licensed professional. An attorney-drafted will carries more credibility and helps avoid potential challenges to the will.
  4. Circumstances often change, and estate laws frequently evolve. An attorney can revise or draft a new will to reflect life changes, changes in asset values, or updates to laws that could impact your will. They ensure your will remains valid and up to date.

While DIY wills are inexpensive and convenient, for most individuals an attorney-drafted will provides essential benefits and peace of mind. For such an important life event, the guidance of a legal professional is worth the investment. If cost is a concern, shop around to find an attorney with reasonable rates. Your will deserves the expertise that only an attorney can provide.

What You Need to Know to Write Your Own Legally Binding Will

To write a legally valid will, rules will vary state to state, but there are a few general key requirements you must keep in mind:

  1. You must be of sound mind and memory. This means you must be mentally competent and capable of understanding what you are signing and how it will impact your estate.
  2. You must sign and date the will in the presence of at least two witnesses. These witnesses should be unbiased third parties who are not beneficiaries named in the will. The witnesses must also sign the will to attest that you signed it freely and were of sound mind when you did so.
  3. Consider having your will notarized for additional legitimacy, though this is not always legally required. A notary public will verify your identity and ensure your signature is authentic. Notarization helps avoid potential challenges to the validity of your will after you pass away.
  4. Clearly identify your beneficiaries and any gifts or assets they should receive. Specify precisely how you want your estate and any remaining assets distributed after your passing. Provide details on who should inherit what, including any charitable contributions you wish to make.
  5. Name an executor to handle the distribution of your estate. Choose someone you trust to serve in this important role to carry out your final wishes according to the instructions outlined in your will.

By following these essential steps, you can feel confident creating your own legally binding will to provide clear direction for the distribution of your estate. However, as we are not legal advisors we recommend consulting with legal counsel regarding estate planning.

Having Your Will Notarized: Why It’s Important and How to Do It

Why Notarization Is Important

A notary public, or notary, is a state-appointed official who can administer oaths and take acknowledgments. By notarizing your will, the notary verifies your identity and witnesses your signature to confirm you signed the document willingly. This helps prevent fraud and ensures your will accurately reflects your final wishes.  It makes it more difficult for anybody to dispute your will in the future.

How to Get Your Will Notarized

Once you have completed and signed your will, the notarization process is straightforward. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Locate a notary public in your state. You can search online, check with your bank, or call your local courthouse.
  2. Bring your government-issued photo ID for identification. The notary will need to verify your identity.
  3. Bring at least one witness who can also provide proper ID. While not always legally required, a witness can provide an extra layer of validation.
  4. Present the final, signed copy of your will to the notary. They will review it to ensure all pages are present and properly signed and dated.
  5. You and any witnesses will sign the will in the presence of the notary. The notary will then complete their notarization certificate, which typically includes their stamp or seal.
  6. Pay the required notary fees in your state. Fees usually start at $25, although estate packages can be larger.

By following these steps and having your self-made will notarized, you can achieve peace of mind knowing you have taken appropriate measures to ensure your final wishes are honored. Notarization provides legal credibility to your DIY will and helps prevent potential disputes or challenges in the future.

How to Notarize a Will Fastest
How to Notarize a Will Fastest

How to have a Will Notarized Online Instantly

Please keep in mind requirements may vary state to state, but in general, to have your will notarized online, there are a few simple steps to follow, in fact we can break it down into 3.

  1. Enter your email on the front page of BlueNotary
  2. Follow the Directions in your Email and upload your Document + ID
  3. Meet the Commissioned Notary and complete your signing

The entire process start to finish can take less than 10 minutes for a Notary Acknowledgement. BlueNotary even makes it easy for foreigners with their biometric identity proofing.

Using a service like BlueNotary will save you time and money since you don’t need to find and schedule with an in-person notary. Plus, the BlueNotary platform is secure and simple.

Ready to get that Document Notarized? Go to BlueNotary to get started now. official paperwork indicating it has been legally notarized.

Retain the Original Signed and Notarized Will

Keep the original copy of your signed and notarized will in a safe place. Online Platforms will often keep this for you for 10 years as well.  They are at least required by law to keep the video recordings.  Provide copies to your executor or any beneficiaries. If done properly, your will is now legally binding and can be used in the probate of your estate. Following your state guidelines carefully will ensure your will is properly notarized according to the legal requirements of your state so that your final wishes are honored. Be sure to revisit and update your will periodically as needed to reflect any changes in your assets, beneficiaries, or other circumstances.

Signing a Will Conclusions

In summary, creating your own will and having it notarized is certainly possible for many individuals. However, for the best protection of your assets and loved ones, consulting an estate planning attorney is highly advisable. They have the expertise to ensure your will is comprehensive, legally sound, and reflects your unique circumstances and wishes.

While DIY options may seem appealing in the short term, they often lack the detail and nuance required for such an important life document. Your will has tremendous power over your legacy – don’t leave its creation to chance. Meet with a professional, get the guidance you need, and gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve made the very best plan for the future. The time and investment will be well worth it.

General Questions About Write My Own Will

What are the specific requirements or differences in will-making and notarization laws across different states?

In the United States, each state has its own set of rules governing the creation, execution, and validation of wills. These laws may differ in terms of the number of witnesses required, the mental capacity of the testator, and whether notarization is necessary for validity. State government websites and legal aid organizations offer valuable resources for understanding these state-specific laws, ensuring that will meet all necessary legal requirements.

How should digital assets be handled in a self-drafted will?

Incorporating digital assets into a self-drafted will requires careful planning. Testators should clearly outline who inherits each digital asset and provide necessary access information for executors in a secure document. Reviewing the terms of service for each digital platform is also crucial, as they may have specific post-death handling policies. Properly addressing digital assets ensures their inclusion and accessibility in the will.

Are there valid alternatives to notarization for those who might have difficulty accessing a notary?

For individuals facing challenges accessing notary services, valid alternatives exist to ensure a will’s legitimacy. Some states permit holographic wills, handwritten and signed by the testator without witnesses or notarization. Online notarization services are also increasingly accepted in many states, enabling remote notarization for those in remote areas or with mobility issues. It’s essential to verify the state’s recognition of online notarization before proceeding.

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