Writing Your Own Will For Free
In Utah, state law allows you to make your own will for free if you choose to. This is often referred to as a “holographic will”. Holographic wills don’t require witnesses. To make one, you simply write out your wishes by hand and sign the will. Adding a date will give the will priority over past wills, and allow any future wills to have priority over the holographic will.
Why Use a Holographic Will?
The main purpose of a will is to cause something to happen after you pass away. The more a person matters to you, the more you will want to prepare to make sure that person receives your gift. If you are not greatly concerned whether your wishes expressed in a will happen, a holographic will may be enough. If you have strong wishes, but no opportunity to retain an attorney, a holographic will may be your only option.
In spite of being legal, holographic wills have many limitations. If there is a dispute over property, and one of the parties claims your holographic will is a fake, there may be no witnesses that this will was written by you. The court would be forced to find examples of your handwriting, which may not exist if you normally use texts or email to communicate. The will may get lost, or if found, it might not be recognized as a will. Sometimes the person who does find the will chooses not to tell anyone.
Why Use an Attorney Prepared Will?
Signing a will is the last step of the process. You will learn a great deal when meeting with your attorney to discuss your heirs, your property and your wishes. Attorneys will know what is necessary to accomplish your specific wishes in a properly prepared will. The attorney will be sure to get unbiased witnesses, which is a requirement for wills that are not in your own handwriting. Those witnesses and the attorney will be able to testify that you signed a will. The attorney will normally keep a record of your will in case the original is damaged or lost. Attorneys are trained, and experienced attorneys can tell you of the unique issues that can come up before and after death. They can warn you of things you haven’t considered to help you effectively accomplish your goals.
With over 15 years of experience in Estate Planning, I can help you overcome any barriers to having all of your wishes carried out. Give us a call today! What you don’t know definitely can hurt your estate plans. Let us make the difference.