Becoming a Will Writer

The administration of a dead person's estates could be complicated without explicit instructions from the deceased before his death. That is why, there is such thing as a will that contains information on how should a person's assets be distributed upon his death.

How can one be sure his will is valid? Who can he trust to write an executable will?

People who want an orderly distribution of their estate after they die usually put in place a written will to be carried forth after their death. Having a will has numerous advantages. First, it ensures that one’s assets are distributed according to how he wants it and to people whom he wants to have them. Next, with explicit instructions on how these should be allocated, it makes the process easier and faster. A will is particularly useful if the deceased left a large property. It avoids potential conflict among heirs and saves them from paying large inheritance taxes.

Who Can Write a Will?

Anyone can make a will. And as long as it has met state requirement, it is valid (usually, at least signed, and witnessed). Handwritten wills are also permitted. However, making a will yourself is advisable only if it is fairly easy to execute and do not involve complicated legal matters. However, if it involves a sizeable estate, then it is wise to seek professionals who are experts in probate, trust and estate tax laws (if the estate is small, such that it’s subject to “summary administration,” then there’s no need for a full probate procedure). In the U.K., will writing is an established profession. Will writers organized themselves. Membership in a will writing organization provides one with training, support and certification to practice the profession.

Will Writing in the U.S.

In the U.S., online forms and services, and will writing software are more common. These instruments are usually recommended for use with caution as they may be too general and are not suitable for someone’s specific situation. Those who want to get advices tailored to their needs, go to lawyers or estate planners for advice. Most often, in the U.S., wills are drawn up by lawyers. Lawyers who specialize in legal issues pertaining to properties and inheritance are called probate lawyers. They do not only write wills, they also advise clients on strategies to reduce probate fees and taxes, help them execute what was written in the will, and represent them in court to settle inheritance disputes. Their services are sought for because of their expertise in the complicated language that governs probate law -- that which pertains to the administration of a deceased person’s properties as specified in his will.

In the U.S., some probate lawyers have organized themselves to form the Probate Attorney Alliance People who became probate lawyers start in this specialized field by doing internship in firms that specialize in probate law after graduation from law school and after taking the bar.


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