Can non-lawyers draft and execute wills or trusts?

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Can non-lawyers draft and execute wills or trusts?

In OR.

Asked on May 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no.

Yes, in the sense that the person(s) making the will can him-, her-, or themselves draft a will--anyone has a right to draw up their own will, though since the will must obey or fulfill ALL conditions and requirements for a legally valid will, it's unwise to do it yourself; a simple error can invalidate the will.

No, in the sense that no other person can draw up a will for someone--to so would constitute the unauthorized practice of law and could result in substantial liabilty for the person who did this.

Again, given what is at stake and the fact that there are  no "second chances"--since a will only comes into play when someone has passed away, if there's an error discovered at that time, it's obviously too late to correct it--having an attorney draw up the will is strongly recommended.


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