Most Americans are aware that they need to have an estate plan, but current statistics suggest that only one in four Americans actually have either a will or an advance directive of any sort.

Many people are turning to DIY will options available either online or through software packages. It is important to understand the pros and cons of a DIY will before you commit. According to Forbes Magazine, while DIY wills may be very fast and very affordable, they often assume familiarity with case law and legislation that you may not have.

What are the pros of DIY wills?

There is no doubt that turning on the PC, navigating to a website, checking some boxes and ending up with a will is a very tantalizing prospect for many. Many simply put off their estate planning until it is too late because they do not want to go through the process. It is better to have a DIY will in place then no will at all.

What are the cons of DIY wills?

Many of the online packages are very generic and try to apply to all 50 US states. However, each state has its own version of probate code. Having a one-size-fits-all-states DIY will may not hold up very well after your death, depending on the laws where you live.

Additionally, unless you are very familiar with probate code and estate planning, it is likely there is much about the process that you do not know. Talking with a professional on the subject can help ensure that you get the comprehensive estate plan you need so that your wishes regarding your estate stay honored upon your death.