A Will is a legal document. And like many legal documents, it’s full of dense and almost indecipherable language. People refer to this as legalese.

Lots of people just want a plain text will that they and their family or beneficiaries can understand. That’s a reasonable desire but they’re forgetting one very important thing. Their will isn’t written for them. It isn’t written for their families. A will is a document meant to control the probate courts, and as such, it’s written for the courts and other lawyers and legal professionals.

Your Will isn’t Written for You

The language in that document is going to refer to statutes and other best practices that come with this type of planning. It’s going to be spelling things out using explicit terms so that those legal experts reading it know exactly what to do. There can’t be any ambiguity. It needs to be something that is very accurate and that’s clearly understandable to a certain subset of people.

That’s why you see terms in there. That’s why you see a big definition of terms in the back of your will, assuming it was done professionally. This is why you see terms like per stirpes and by right of representation. All of these terms mean things to the people who will have to actually make these things operate.

Note that most lawyers have a certain way of doing things, so anytime you ask that attorney to pull it out of the established way of doing things, you’re probably asking for a lot of custom work, and because of that, it can actually increase the cost of the documents. So that’s why you’re going to see legalese in any legal document.

Have your Will Professionally Written

That’s why it’s important to have a professional write your will. It might be hard to understand but they will make sure that the person reading the will knows exactly what to do and how to do it. Using plain language might make you happy when you’re writing it, but it will create a headache for your family after you’re gone.