In my 30 years of private practice, I have yet to see a correctly-done do-it-yourself Will! Most people do not have a Will. Why? Because most of us are busy living and working, and the last thing we think about is mortality. Usually, “do-it-yourself” Wills are done by people who can afford to have a Will professionally done. Typical errors include improper witnessing and signatures, conflicting language, a failure to properly dispose of the assets, and (of course) estate tax avoidance language. Other errors could cause improper probate avoidance techniques and/or an unequal distribution of the estate. People can wreak havoc by drafting their own estate planning documents. In the end, loved ones will suffer the most from the chaos and legal problems that people leave behind! The cost to have a Will or Trust done professionally and correctly is a fraction of what a family can spend in legal fees to clean up the mess. Bear in mind not every lawyer knows the ins and outs of estate planning. Be sure to hire an attorney with experience in the field.
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