Sure. Just like you can do your own taxes, change your own oil, fix your own plumbing, etc., you can draft your own will. There is no requirement that your will be drafted by an attorney. But just like the other tasks on the list above, the amount of damage you can cause if you do it wrong, and the amount of time it takes to learn how to do it correctly, almost always make it worthwhile to pay someone who already has the knowledge and the tools, and won’t be starting from scratch.

In all likelihood, the primary reason that you’re considering creating an estate plan is for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have a plan in place to take care of yourself and your loved ones during what will inevitably be a difficult time. That peace of mind, however, may prove elusive if you have to keep wondering whether you really did think of everything. The biggest danger facing a do-it-yourselfer, even one using a software program or a web service for assistance, is that you don’t know what you don’t know.

What happens, for instance, if, in your will, you instruct that your favorite old pickup truck is to go to your son, but at the time of your death, the truck is titled in your and your wife’s names? Most people probably assume — incorrectly — that the will controls and the son gets the truck. The more important point, however, besides the answer to this specific question is, how many people would even think to ask? An attorney experienced in this area of law will know reflexively that, in addition to writing the will, getting the ownership of assets right is a primary part of ensuring that an estate plan gets carried out in the manner that the person who created it was intending.

There are times when doing a task yourself, rather than paying someone else, can have real value. Planning your estate is probably not one of those times. In this area, a little financial investment almost always pays for itself eventually.