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Estate planning and the risks of writing your own Will

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2019 | Estate Planning

Estate planning and the risks of writing your own Will bear discussion. The internet is full of websites ready to sell you a template to write your own Will, which seems easy enough to accomplish by yourself. Determining what goes into your Will must surely be as simple as taking an inventory of what you have, and then deciding who will get it when you pass away. 

Writing your own Will, however, is not a do-it-yourself project. Many factors make writing a Will more complicated than you realize. For starters, if you don’t follow the laws of your state, or any irregularities in the signing of your Will arise, a court could determine that your Will is invalid. Your estate would then be handled as if you had no Will at all. The court will name who handles your estate, and determine who inherits your assets – not only in what order, but also how much each beneficiary will receive. 

Attention to detail

A common mistake in writing your own Will is leaving out crucial information and important details. A Will can be as specific as you want. However, until you speak with an attorney to discuss your particular situation, it is difficult to know what that means for your estate and passing your legacy on to those you love. 

An experienced attorney will know exactly how to word your Will to avoid the risk of your assets going to the wrong people. Your estate deserves the attention of a trusted professional and specialized estate planning. 

Bear in mind that no one understands your intent as well as you. When your Will is read upon your death, if it is a well-written Will it should seem as though you are still in the room outlining your last wishes. A professionally-written Will leaves nothing to chance, and will withstand any scrutiny from the courts.

Most home-made Wills are not specific enough to determine the exact wishes of the person who passed away. Seeking the services of an accomplished probate attorney to write your Will will allow you to avoid this pitfall.  

Every state has its own rules to determine if a Will is valid. Some states require a certain number of witnesses to the signature of the person signing a Will; others require notarization; and still others require a valid Will to be self-proving. The stringent conditions that need to be met to create a valid Will make this a complicated matter.

When the court determines a Will is invalid in Florida, estate administration will follow the laws of intestate succession. It will be as if there was no Will signed at all. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, seek out the legal advice of the estate planning attorneys at VanNess & VanNess, P.A. today. 


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