Many people think that leaving a will means that you are preparing for your demise, but in reality, this is just a process that will ensure your real estate and money will go to the people you want, and the state won’t have any legal rights to choose what happens to your property. In the past, the testament was done only when the person was over 70 years of age, or when they were suffering from an incurable illness. Nowadays, people have learned that creating this document does not mean anything else but you being responsible, and more and more people create a will once their first child is born, or before they enter a second marriage.

There are a lot of different types of testaments, and in the past few years do it yourself wills have become popular. A lot of people believe that when they choose a DIY testament, they are actually saving a lot of money and that they are going to skip a few legal steps or avoid several fees. The reality is, there are some major disadvantages that come with this practice. In this 2024 guide we are going to talk about the negative sides of a DIY bequest, and how it can affect your wishes after your demise. If you are unsure about what you can do, and what your options are, it is always better to have a free legal consultation, and how your options than to risk making a mistake and leaving your estate in the hands of the state.

Source: LDS Living

1. Time

You probably haven’t thought of this, but the first disadvantage on this list is the time you are going to spend writing the testament and researching every part of it. Since you probably don’t have any previous experience, and you don’t know where you are supposed to start, or how the bequest should look, you will need to sit down and do your research.

Learning everything you can, and starting the whole thing will take you a lot of time, and if you want things to be done correctly, you need to make sure everything is perfect. When you consider that you will need to spend at least a few weeks, up to several months to create the testament, you will realize that the time actually costs you a lot more than talking to an attorney.

Source: NJ Elder Law Center at Goldberg Law Group

2. Validation

Even though DIY wills are considered legal in most of the places, in some states they may be overruled because of the validity. If things are not created correctly from start to finish, along with paying attention to all the little details, they will be overruled.

This means that you risk your estate and heirloom falling into the wrong hands because you didn’t write things in the correct manner. Note that even if your signature is not put in the right position, and even if it is one line below, you risk the bequest being considered illegal.

Source: Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna PLLC

3. Legality in certain states

We’ve mentioned that these testaments are usually legal, but the word usually plays a huge role. In case you decide to do this whole process on your own, you need to make sure that your state allows these documents without including a lawyer in the process. Know that you will also need to pay attention to all the changes in the law, and if down the road the laws change, you will still need to create the testament with a legal advisor.

According to OneWill, traditional kits and services rarely offer you the possibility to manage all of your properties, so you need to choose a service that will help you include all of your wishes, demands and that will help you take care of your assets with ease.

Source: AttorneyFee

4. Not understanding it

We all want to be experts in every field, but the reality is unless you spend years learning things, and if you don’t have the needed certifications and degrees, you cannot learn things by doing 15-minute research on Google.

There are some things that we cannot understand, and that is not because we don’t have the capacity, but because we don’t have the needed education. Don’t think that just because you saw something on the internet it will give you all the needed information. You can play around with the internet when it comes to things that will not affect your wishes and the future of your loved ones.

To make sure that you do everything right, and to make sure that no one can say that you were not in your right mind when you wrote the bequest, you should talk to an attorney.

Source: United Church of God

5. Witnesses

One thing that online wills will not tell you is that you need witnesses for the document to be valid. This depends on the state, and in some countries, you don’t have to provide a witness’s signature to validate the document, but in most places, this thing is required.

When you create the document on your own, you may forget about this part, and no matter how perfectly you create it, when the time comes, it may be overruled because you didn’t have any witnesses present. So, to avoid any confusion, and to make sure that no one can say that your wishes were not legal, you should talk to a legal representative and talk to them about the whole process and if needed, how many witnesses should sign the document and where.

These are some of the major disadvantages when you choose to go with an online bequest instead of contacting a legal service before you create it. Note that you should always create a will or update it if you choose to get married, after separation, when you purchase a new real estate or if you are a legal guardian of a person with special needs. It is said that you should pay attention to the testament in case you choose to go to a nursing home, and if you have an estate out of the legal boundaries of your country. The right service can help you out with the whole process and they will walk you through it, so you don’t make any mistakes or feel confused about any part of it.