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Should You Try Do-It-Yourself Will Options?

Do-it-yourself options are great for furniture crafting or even for learning programming languages. People are smart, and they can teach themselves many things. However, one area where it is extremely important to get it right is planning your will.

There are seemingly endless do-it-yourself will options on the internet, and people with smaller estates and few assets may find them attractive. But the fact is that these cookie-cutter estate planning options may not cover your special circumstances with anything approaching the sensitivity they deserve.

Why Would A DIY Will Fail?

It isn’t a certainty that a DIY would not pass muster when it was time for probate court, but there is a significant chance. The probate court’s first job is to make sure the will is valid, so the judge will closely review the will for any errors. Significant mistakes such as:

  • Selecting an invalid personal representative
  • Improper tax calculations
  • Vague terminology
  • Violations of the law

Even if there are no disqualifying errors, families with questions about the will have ample opportunity to contest a DIY will. Without an attorney to stand for it or support it, a skilled probate litigator may get the will invalidated.

What Happens If A DIY Will Is Invalid?

If the probate court invalidates any will, the person’s estate will be distributed according to Florida’s intestate laws. The court will assign shares of the estate to the deceased’s relatives according to the following hierarchy:

  • Spouse
  • Descendants
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Further relatives

Essentially, the surviving spouse gets the entire estate, half the estate and the children get half.

Keep Control Of Your Estate

The most effective way to ensure you stay in control of your estate is to hire an estate planning attorney. At Thomas-McDonald Law Firm, P.A., we have extensive experience personalizing wills to fit our client’s needs. We help you stay in the driver’s seat and minimize issues your family will have to deal with after you leave. Call us at 305-928-6999 or send us an email to learn what we can do for you.