Should you hire an estate planning attorney or DIY?


 Should you hire an Estate Planning Attorney or DIY?

A last will and testament can be a very complex document. Without it, you’ve left everyone close to you with zero guidance about who should inherit your assets, who should take care of any wishes that should be carried out, or if you have minor children, who will be their legal guardian. Not having a last will and testament will create unneeded chaos, stress, and more heartache for your loved ones and friends.

A common question we receive frequently is “Can I just write my own will?” or “ Isn’t Legal Zoom good enough?”. It’s a fair question in this day and age with limitless information online or watching a Youtube video that walks you through the process. However, the real question many should be asking instead is actually whether they should write their own will, and if so, will it be valid enough and hold up in court.

While going with the DIY route may have some advantages, such as time/convenience or a lower cost, hiring an experienced Panama City estate planning attorney can help guide you more efficiently through the process. It is important to remember that there is much more to estate planning than just having a will. You want to make sure that when you are no longer here, you leave your loved ones in the best position possible with little to no hassle. 

Your estate planning attorney can:

Address all components of your estate

Many assume a will is as easy as bequeathing your property to loved ones, but it can also include all types of assets and terms. Your lawyer will make sure you consider all of your options. 

While a will is the first step in estate planning, it is hardly the last. It is important to let an experienced estate planning attorney take a detailed look at all of your assets, affairs, and holdings and determine whether or not there are other important options available such as creating a Trust or setting up non-testamentary transfers that can occur upon passing. This tailored approach will save your loved ones time and money and a lot of stress during what will already be a difficult time. 

Make sure everything is legally binding

While drafting your own will and estate plan is possible, having an estate planning attorney give the draft a thorough look over can ensure the documents will be legal in court. DIY’s sometimes choose out of date documents by using a template they find online and it may not be legally binding.

Additionally, most of these options are non-state-specific. You want to make sure that you have an experienced attorney, licensed in the state that you live and executing the documents in, ensuring that everything is done in accordance with the state’s statutes regarding document execution. 

Help with complicated dynamics

Some family situations aren’t quite as simple as others. For example, you may have been married before or have multiple children with someone other than your current spouse. Regardless of your circumstance, your estate planning lawyer can assist you with devising arrangements that work for you and update any essential documents if anything changes.

Lessen the tax burden for your loved one’s

You may have some concerns about the tax implications that the size of your estate could impose on your beneficiaries. Estate planning attorneys can help you understand the various strategies available to reduce the possible tax burden on your loved ones.

Protect your own interest

Wills are often accompanied by additional documents that actually go into effect before you pass. For instance, a healthcare power of attorney grants someone the authority to make pertinent decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. Similarly, a financial power of attorney grants a third party to manage your finances on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Life is unpredictable and it is wise to have both of these documents created with the help of a knowledgeable attorney.


From simple wills to large family trusts, for over 40 years the team at the Wynn Law firm has been dedicated to bringing the personal attention and care to each client’s situation to ensure that you and your family can have peace about the future. Contact our office today to talk with us about how we can help you navigate planning for the future.

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