Can You Write Your Own Will Without a Lawyer?

Is it possible for someone to write their own will without using a lawyer? The answer is Yes! Normally, a will is signed, notarized, and witnessed by two people. However, Colorado does recognize handwritten wills that don’t have witnesses or notaries if the signature and material portions of the document are in the same person’s handwriting who is creating the will.

Material portions of the will usually consist of the following:

Can You Write Your Own Will
  1. The name of the person who is creating the will.
  2. Whether or not the person is married.
  3. Whether or not the person has children (and a list of the children) regardless if the children are receiving anything.
  4. Who receives the estate, property, vehicles, etc.
  5. Who the personal representative (sometimes referred to as an executor) is and usually one successor.
  6. If bond is required.

Leaving a child one dollar so that they can’t contest the will is a false rumor and false planning idea. Naming all children is normal practice, but it is up to the person creating a will on who will receive their money. The one thing that requires extra careful planning is when a spouse does not receive the entire estate. In these situations, spouses can easily contest the will and take a larger portion.

The down side to hand written wills is that they are commonly contested, can create delays, can cause high legal costs in estates/probates, and often hand written wills include confusing terms that sometimes cause problems.

Overall, handwritten wills are allowed in Colorado, but these documents often cause problems. With a small amount of legal advice, complying with Colorado Statutes regarding wills is not difficult. If you would like more information, please contact Rossi Law today.