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Who Can Create A Will? Can I use DIY Tools?

Posted by Joel Beck | Jan 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

Every adult in Georgia can possibly create a will, but understanding who can and how to do it correctly is crucial. At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we believe in empowering you with the knowledge to make informed decisions about your estate planning. Let's explore the essentials of creating a valid will and the potential of using DIY tools in this process.


Eligibility to Create a Will

When it comes to estate planning, understanding the eligibility criteria for creating a will is essential. We are dedicated to helping you understand these requirements quickly and confidently. Let's explore the conditions under Georgia law determining whether you can create a will.

  1. Legal Age and Mental Capacity: The foundational criterion in Georgia for creating a will is age. You must be at least 14 years old, notably younger than in many other states where the legal age is 18. This allows even young individuals to begin thinking about and planning their estate early. However, age is just the starting point. Equally crucial is your mental capacity. This means you must be capable of understanding the following:

    1. Nature of the Will: Recognizing that the document you are creating will dictate how your assets are distributed after your death.

    2. Extent of Your Property: Having a reasonable awareness of what your assets encompass, such as real estate, bank accounts, personal possessions, and investments.

    3. Your Decisions' Implications: Understanding how your choices will affect the distribution of your assets and their impact on the beneficiaries.

  2. Voluntary Action and Understanding: Another critical aspect of eligibility is the voluntary nature of creating your will. This means the will must be a product of your free will, without any external pressure or influence. It's vital that your will reflects your true intentions and is not the result of coercion, fraud, or undue influence from others. This voluntariness not only ensures the document's legal validity but also that it accurately represents your wishes for your estate.
    The importance of this criterion cannot be overstated. A will that results from undue influence or coercion can be challenged in court and potentially declared invalid, leading to complications and disputes during the probate process.

DIY Tools for Will Creation

The digital revolution has transformed many aspects of our lives, including how we plan for the future. DIY tools for will creation epitomize this change, offering a modern approach to drafting this crucial document. As an estate planning lawyer at Peach State Wills & Trusts, I want to help you understand these tools and decide if they fit your estate planning needs.

  1. Understanding DIY Will Tools

DIY will tools are typically software or online platforms that guide you through drafting a will. They offer templates and step-by-step instructions, making them user-friendly and accessible. These tools are designed to be cost-effective and convenient, especially appealing if you have straightforward estate planning needs.

  1. The Pros of DIY Will Tools

    1. Affordability: One of the most significant advantages of DIY tools is their cost. They are usually less expensive than hiring a lawyer.

    2. Convenience: DIY tools allow you to create a will at your own pace from the comfort of your home.

    3. Simplicity: For those with uncomplicated estates, these tools can provide a straightforward way to document your wishes.

  2. The Cons of DIY Will Tools

    1. One-Size-Fits-All Approach: DIY tools often use a generic template, which might not suit everyone's unique circumstances, especially if you have a complex estate.

    2. Legal Nuances: These tools only account for some of the legal intricacies and state-specific laws, potentially leading to a will that needs to be fully compliant.

    3. No Professional Guidance: Without a lawyer, you might miss crucial advice regarding asset protection, tax implications, and other legal strategies. And, you will almost certainly miss out on understanding how to make the estate administration process simpler for your family following your death, and getting a road map of easy steps to take to make things far easier.  Finally, some of the language that you find in your will may mean something other than what you think it does, which may lead to unintended results, due in part to failing to understand the questions and options as you work through an online system to generate a document without the aid of experienced counsel.

Your Path to a Secure Future

Remember, creating a will is vital in securing your legacy and protecting your loved ones. But the document creation is just a part of the overall planning process (and estate planning is really a process, as opposed to a transaction).  Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at 678-344-5342 or online to learn how to effectively plan for your estate in Georgia today. If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, feel free to download our free guide here. There are no strings attached. Let's work together to ensure your wishes are honored and secure your future.

About the Author

Joel Beck

Joel Beck founded The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. His firm focused on business law and estate planning needs of clients, two areas that he was drawn to based upon personal and business experiences in his life, including a ten-year career at NASD (now known as FINRA).


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At Peach State Wills and Trusts, a division of The Beck Law Firm, LLC, we're committed to answering your questions about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, uncontested probate, and business planning issues in Georgia.

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