These are some questions I am frequently asked about legal matters:

1. Can I do it myself?

Answer: Sure you can. But then, can you do it right? I like fixing my own cars, and fixing my house, even though I’m not a professional mechanic, carpenter, or plumber. I’m willing to accept and live with the mistakes I make, which can generally be fixed, though sometimes expensively. If you do your own will wrong, you may die before your mistakes are discovered. If you “mess up” your divorce, you may not be able to go back to re-open the divorce to correct the problem, or the fix may be very expensive. Few people are able to competently prepare a real estate purchase agreement, or appropriate real estate conveyancing documents on their own.

The Minnesota District Court website has many forms for “pro se” litigants. (check out my links) Many Court procedures can be done correctly by a reasonably intelligent person. Sometimes, it may be a good idea to have an attorney review your work.

2. Do I need a will?

Answer: Sometimes the “default” provided by Minnesota law works the same result as what you would want in your will. Even though this may be the case, it is probably a good idea to have a will, if only to designate the personal representative (executor) of your estate. This reduces the likelihood of your children or heirs fighting over the honor of doing this job. Your best bet is to at least meet with an experienced lawyer to discuss your situation in order to understand your options.