First, please forgive me if I sound whiney, but please bear with me as I get something off my chest. There’s no pleasure in being made fun of, because of your profession. David and I spent a lot of years in school, getting educated to help people. We have doctorate degrees (J.D.) and worked exceedingly hard to attain them. Within every profession there are extreme personalities. I don’t hear CPA, R.N, D.D.S. PhD. CFP, M.D. etc., etc., etc jokes, yet there are plenty of insensitive, greedy people within every field of professionals. I believe we help people every day we go to our office and answer our phones. The vast majority of attorneys are simply specially educated business people, trained to solve problems for their clients.
As to the “do it yourself” idea: I don’t plumb my own house, suture my own stitches, fill my own prescriptions or rebuild my car’s transmission. Those aren’t my areas of expertise. In Colorado you can certainly write something up and have it treated as a holographic Will. In fact, in Colorado it doesn’t even need to be notarized. In the individual’s handwriting and signed by the individual will serve. Yes, there are kits out there available or Legal Zoom or these legal “benefits” companies where you pay monthly. But here’s what I have to ask myself. Why would I want to do something myself, that I have no knowledge or training in, or be required to work with someone I don’t know, over something important enough to have true legal consequences?
If you screw up a Will, there is no “do over” – the person’s dead, there is no correcting. And if you make a mistake or incorrectly fill out a Power of Attorney, do you really want to find out it’s not correct and legal when the person who signed it needs you to be managing their affairs right then and there because they’re not able to?
Every state has its own probate laws. How can the same kit sold in every office supply store across the country conform to Colorado law? How does one know what to include and what to exclude on the generic forms of legalese? Is it really not worth the money to have such an important set of documents done correctly, professionally, comporting to the laws of one’s state of residence and expertly drafted to carry out the specific wishes of the author? I can’t speak for you, but I much prefer to hire an honest professional to do that.