Building Legacies that Last Estate Planning and Elder Law

Why Homemade Wills Do Not Work

Young man holding a trash binDrafting your own will or using a form that you purchased online to create a will, might seem like a good idea that will save you money. However, those wills often fail to do much more than create large legal bills in probate.

Wills often sound like simple legal documents. In a sense, they are. They are just a legal way to write down who gets your possessions after you pass away.

When it comes to estate planning generally, wills are among the simplest ways to express your parting wishes. However, the truth is that wills are only simple from an estate planning attorney’s perspective. They are not so simple that anyone can just write their own wills or purchase a form online to fill in and use as a will.

Those homemade wills do not always work very well for a variety of reasons, as the Huntsville Item explains in “A humorous look at the danger of homemade wills.”

Some homemade wills do not work for very simple reasons of formalities. In most states, executing a will requires that a specific number of people be present to witness the will being signed.

People who create their own wills often fail to either have the right number of people present or they do not leave any indication of how a court can contact the witnesses, if necessary.

Other homemade wills do not work for less technical reasons. The directions in these wills are often contradictory or impossible to carry out.

Getting a will does not have to be a complicated process but it should begin with hiring an estate planning attorney.

Reference: Huntsville Item (Nov. 27, 2016) “A humorous look at the danger of homemade wills.”


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