Few things are as essential as securing your legacy in the grand tapestry of life. Your legacy encompasses not just your material possessions but also your values, beliefs, and the impact you leave behind. At the heart of this legacy lies your last will and testament – a document that ensures your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. While the concept of drafting a will might seem straightforward, the reality is far more intricate. This is where the indispensable role of an estate lawyer comes into play.

The Vital Role of Estate Lawyers in Drafting Wills

Why is it crucial to have an estate planning lawyer assist you in drafting your will? The answer lies in the complexity and importance of the task at hand. A will is not merely a list of who gets what; it’s a legal document that must adhere to specific formalities and regulations to be considered valid. Without the expertise of a qualified estate attorney or will lawyer, you run the risk of errors, ambiguities, or even challenges to the validity of your will.

One of the primary benefits of working with an estate planning lawyer for a will is their in-depth knowledge of the law. Estate planning laws vary by state and are subject to frequent changes. An experienced lawyer stays abreast of these legal nuances and ensures your will complies with all relevant statutes and regulations. This knowledge extends beyond the drafting stage. Moreover, estate planning lawyers can also provide valuable guidance on strategies to minimize estate taxes and maximize the efficiency of your estate distribution.

Why do I need a will?

Everyone needs a will. Wills and estate planning are often thought of as something only the wealthy or elderly need to worry about. However, the truth is that everyone, regardless of age or financial status, should have a will. Without a will, state laws dictate your estate’s division, potentially leaving your loved ones in limbo and your wishes unrecognized. Don’t assume that the law will leave your estate to the “obvious” choices. For example, in Pennsylvania, if you are married without a will, your assets will not automatically all go to your spouse. Crafting a will ensures clarity and direction during a time of grief and uncertainty. Whether you’re a young professional, a growing family, or enjoying retirement, having a will safeguards your hard-earned assets and ensures your wishes are followed.

A will also helps streamline the probate process, minimizing administrative burdens and legal fees for your beneficiaries. It’s a proactive step towards protecting your loved ones’ financial security and emotional well-being. Moreover, a will allows you to appoint trusted individuals to carry out your wishes as executors, guardians for minor children, and even caretakers for beloved pets. Simply put, a will is not just a document; it’s a cornerstone of responsible estate planning that everyone should prioritize.

Estate Planning Attorneys Help Safeguard Your Legacy 

Estate lawyers possess the expertise to address complex family dynamics and unique circumstances. From blended families to business interests, a cookie-cutter approach to will drafting won’t suffice. A wills and trust attorney can tailor your will to reflect your specific wishes and mitigate potential conflicts among heirs. By anticipating and addressing potential challenges proactively, estate lawyers help safeguard the integrity of your legacy. 

Don’t Risk Drafting a Will Without an Estate Lawyer

What can go wrong if you try to draft a will without the help of an estate planning attorney? Quite a lot, actually. In particular, without a legal expert to guide you, you may inadvertently overlook critical elements or fail to comply with the formal requirements of will execution. This can lead to ambiguities, disputes, or even the invalidation of your will. Additionally, DIY will templates or online services may not account for your unique circumstances or the latest changes in estate planning laws. As a result, your intentions may not be accurately reflected in your will, leaving your loved ones vulnerable to unnecessary legal battles or financial hardship.

How do you find the right estate lawyer for your needs? Here are five tips when searching for experienced “estate lawyer near me”:

  1. Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family members, or colleagues for recommendations. Personal referrals are often the most reliable way to find a reputable estate lawyer who has provided excellent service to others.
  2. Research Online: Utilize online resources to research estate lawyers in your area. Look for reputable law firms with positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients. Pay attention to any specializations or areas of expertise that align with your needs. For example, Attorney Jeffrey A. Yelen of the Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen Law Firm in Wilkes-Barre has been drafting wills and providing estate planning guidance for more than 25 years. Attorney Yelen leads the firm’s Wills, Estates & Trusts Division. That’s the type of experience you look for when seeking out a lawyer for something as important as a will.
  3. Check Credentials: Verify the qualifications of any prospective estate lawyer. Certify they are licensed to practice law in your state and are in good standing with the bar association. Additionally, consider whether they belong to any professional organizations or have received specialized training in estate planning.
  4. Schedule a Consultation: Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential candidates, schedule a consultation to discuss your estate planning goals and assess their suitability. Before drafting a will, be sure to schedule a consultation with Attorney Yelen.  Use this opportunity to ask questions about experience, approach to will drafting, and fee structure.
  5. Trust Your Instincts: Trust is paramount in any attorney-client relationship. Choose an “estate planning attorney near me” who possesses the requisite expertise and makes you feel comfortable and confident in their abilities to safeguard your legacy.

Contact a Wills & Trust Attorney 

Entrusting the drafting of your will to estate lawyers who focus on wills is a decision of profound importance. By leveraging their expertise, you can navigate the complexities of estate planning with confidence and peace of mind. Your legacy deserves nothing less than meticulous care and attention to detail. An experienced estate lawyer is your trusted ally in securing it for generations to come.

Contact the Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen Estate Law Firm in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to speak to an experienced estate planning & will attorney today.

Read more on estate planning in our blog, “Elder Law Attorney Answers Questions on Gifting Home and Assets.” 


Jeffrey A. Yelen, a partner with DKY Law Firm, is an Elder Law Attorney who brings 25 years of estate planning, probate and estate litigation experience to the clients he serves. He is head of the firm’s Elder Law and Estate Services division and is highly experienced in Wills, Estates, and Trusts.  When you are searching for an Elder Law Lawyer, Attorney Yelen can provide the skilled legal representation you and your family need. Contact Attorney Yelen.