You can create your own will. However, mistakes can turn out to be costly.
There are hidden dangers in creating your own will, according to The New York Times in "Wills Can Avert Family Warfare, but Have Their Own Hidden Traps."
Most Americans do not have a will but a greater percentage of Americans have them than ever before. One of the reasons for the increase is it is easy and cheap to get wills today. You can purchase downloadable forms from several different services.
However, there are some hidden dangers.
The biggest issue is that the probate process is different in every state.
Submitting a will to probate for administration, in some states, is very expensive and can take a long time. That suggests that probate avoidance strategies should be used, which could lead some people to utilize a trust instead of a will as their primary estate planning vehicle.
Trusts, however, are more expensive to get than wills and in some states probate is relatively quick and inexpensive. Consequently, trusts may only be needed for people with larger estates.
There are other probate avoidance strategies that can be used, but they have their drawbacks. For example, retitling an asset as joint property with a child, which is a common tactic, can make the asset vulnerable to the child's creditors.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances, achieve your strategic goals and conform to your state laws.
Reference: New York Times (April 21, 2017) "Wills Can Avert Family Warfare, but Have Their Own Hidden Traps."