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Are DIY Wills Legal? A Florida Attorney’s Guide

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2020 | Firm News

The value of having a will is becoming better understood these days. Therefore, more people in Florida are wondering what the answer is to the question, “Are DIY wills legal?” This is because they’re looking for the simplest and most convenient way to draw up a legal will.
The answer to this question is, yes, you can make a DIY will in the state of Florida. However, choosing this option may not be as good an idea as you expected.

Florida attorneys are finding more and more families coming to them with issues regarding DIY wills. So, what are the potential pitfalls, and what should you know about do-it-yourself wills?

Online DIY Will Services

DIY wills have become more prevalent recently since people can now easily access legal services online. This has led to more people turning to these online services for their legal requirements.

Although these online businesses have improved accessibility to legal services, they aren’t necessarily the best option. While online DIY wills may be suitable for someone with simple requirements, anyone with even slightly complex needs may struggle.

The templates used for these online DIY wills often fail to include essential clauses. For example, the residuary clause is often missing. This clause establishes where any unnamed assets must go in the event of an individual’s death. Those making these DIY documents remain unaware that these clauses are missing since they have no legal training.

As a result, on their deaths, their assets may pass to unintended recipients because of Florida’s intestacy laws. An expensive, unnecessary, and drawn-out legal battle may then ensue between the intended recipient and those who received the assets.

A Lack of Legal Support

Most online DIY will services don’t provide any ongoing legal advice or personal legal support. This can lead to numerous problems and pitfalls. When people work with a Florida probate attorney, they can be confident their assets will pass to the intended recipient. They can also rest assured that there will be no disagreements or family upsets once they have died.

A qualified probate attorney can also ensure that the will remains up to date. This makes sure that all details remain current, and no assets pass to the incorrect recipient because of an oversight. Many people create wills with no lawyer to review them. They then forget about updating it when their loved ones die or when they acquire new assets. This can lead to their wishes not being honored on their death since they weren’t properly defined. Matters, therefore, end up in the probate court’s hands.

Ensuring Your Will Is Legal

Having a will is extremely important, but it’s also important to make sure you craft yours to reflect your wishes. The best way to do this is to seek advice from a qualified Florida probate attorney.
Although the answer to the question “DIY wills – are they legal” is yes, that doesn’t mean you should make one. If you’re ready to begin drawing up your will, contact the Thomas-McDonald Law Firm today for expert advice.