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The Case Against Do-It-Yourself Wills

Deborah L. Jacobs on April 10, 2017

A will is one of the most important financial planning documents, especially as you move toward retirement. Yet an astonishing number of people of all ages still don’t have one.

Psychological factors are at play–it’s extremely stressful to confront one’s own mortality. Plus it’s painful to spend money on estate planning, because you don’t live to reap the benefits even if you know your heirs will.

Purveyors of do-it-yourself books, software and online forms are trying to change that. The cookie cutter documents they sell to help you generate a will cost a fraction of what many lawyers charge. Fueled by the technological revolution, these products have proliferated in recent years, with at least a dozen offered online, plus many books and assorted boxed software.

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