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Can you draft your own will?

People often romanticize the idea that someone might leave behind a hidden or handwritten will. The media loves to use the idea of a family member finding a previously unknown, handwritten will tucked under someone’s day planner or hidden in a safe behind a painting in their office.

The idea that someone could create their own testamentary documents is an intriguing one. Being able to have control over every detail of your will may initially seem like the best solution for creating a profound legacy. However, while people can technically create their own wills in Ohio without violating the law, doing so might not actually lead to a valid and enforceable document.

You probably won’t fully understand state law

Ohio has numerous regulations specifically dictating the rules for estate planning documents like wills. For a will to carry any weight in probate court, it has to adhere to state statutes.  Small mistakes might lead to an unenforceable document.  For example, if you don’t have the proper witnesses, the courts will refuse to accept the will that you drafted for yourself.   If you include terms that don’t pass muster under the law, your family members may end up fighting with one another over who inherits from the estate, and the entire process may end up consuming far more of your assets than it would if you had a will drafted by an attorney.

Proper legal guidance reduces your risk

An attorney assisting you with drafting wills in Ohio will be familiar with state statutes and also best practices. They can help you understand what sorts of inclusions will achieve your wishes regarding your legacy.

A lawyer can also give you a better understanding of how to transfer property to specific beneficiaries after considering potential risks and taxes that may be involved. It is altogether too easy for an individual to make major mistakes when creating their own will. Rather than leaving your last wishes vulnerable to serious challenge in court, it is a better option to create such documents with the help of a licensed legal professional.