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Do-it-yourself wills can be problematic

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2021 | Estate Planning

One of the most important estate planning documents in Florida is a last will and testament. This allows people to name an executor, select a guardian for their small children and set out their wishes for what happens to their property when they pass away. There are several ways that people can make their own wills without a lawyer’s assistance, such as hand-writing one or buying a template. But is that really the best idea?

Pitfalls of DIY wills

Writing a will on your own is better than not having anything in place. Every adult in America should do at least some estate plan creation. However, you should understand that wills are governed by state laws. Sometimes, there are rules about how many people must witness a will, for example. If these aren’t followed exactly, the will may be challenged in court and not hold up.

Another issue to consider when writing a will is how complex your estate is. If you rent an apartment, own one car and don’t have many investments, it might be fine to write your own will from a template. But if you own a considerable amount of real estate, have minor children to consider or own a business, your estate is more complex. High-net-worth individuals need to be especially careful about estate planning because their heirs are sometimes targeted by unscrupulous fortune hunters.

When should you consult an estate planning lawyer?

It’s a good idea to get some legal advice before making a will. Attorney fees may seem expensive, but going through probate is often time-consuming and nerve-wracking for everyone involved. Ensuring that you have a will that holds up in court is a great way to give your loved ones peace of mind. An experienced lawyer may be able to answer your questions and help you create exactly the kind of document you need.