Can non-lawyers draft and execute wills or trusts?

UPDATED: May 28, 2011

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Can non-lawyers draft and execute wills or trusts?

In OR.

Asked on May 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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