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DIY wills can be risky

Estate planning is a topic that is often avoided in New York, since talking about the possibility of death is oftentimes uncomfortable. Among those who do realize the importance of putting together wills, they may be tempted to try to draft these legal documents themselves. However, creating a will with an online DIY form can be risky.

One of the biggest risks that an estate owner takes when choosing to put together his or her own will is that a form found online may not be legal in his or her state. Having an attorney draft a will is especially important for those with high-value assets. These include houses and properties, for example.

In addition, those with more complicated wishes for distributing assets after they die would benefit from consulting an attorney. For instance, in some families, the parents desire to cut one of the children out of a will. In other instances, asset owners wish to donate some of these assets to charity following their deaths.

According to a recent survey, 40 percent of Americans who are in the range of 50 to 60 years old do not have wills. The baby boomer generation has historically been viewed as being quick to put off important tasks, such as saving for retirement, and the low number of boomers who have these legal documents falls in line with this. The percentage of Generation Xers who have wills is even lower, with 64 percent of them not having these documents. An attorney can help with putting together an accurate and efficient will that reflects one's wishes in New York.

Source: nextavenue.org, "Probate, Wills, Executors: Your Estate Planning Questions Answered", Richard Eisenberg, April 7, 2017

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