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Louisiana probate: The good and bad of a DIY will

Most adults in the state of Louisiana -- in the United States, really -- do not have estate plans in place. They do not even have basic wills in place. Without proper planning, probate may be a nightmare for one's family. One does not have to look too hard to find do-it-yourself wills and estate planning products online. Such products are tempting because they are usually cheap, but will a DIY will hold up when it matters, though?

The good thing about DIY wills is that they are inexpensive, quick to make and give people some sort of plan. That is where the good ends. If one has few assets and no special concerns, a DIY may be sufficient. For most people, though, it likely is not.

The bad thing about DIY wills is that they are all pretty standard forms. They may not be up to date with current state estate laws or they may lack specific language that makes them valid. If one has complex estate planning issues, it can be difficult to draft a will that really meets one's needs without legal assistance. If a will is not written just so, it may not hold up in probate.

A DIY will may serve some Louisiana residents temporarily, but a will written with the assistance of legal counsel is generally better in the long-term. An experienced probate attorney will have the ability to ensure that wording is right, all needed protections are in place and the terms of the document are in harmony with state estate laws. Writing a will can prove to be a challenging task, but with the right help, it is possible to create one what truly serves one's needs and wishes.

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