Estate planning is not something one should wish to try without assistance. When preparing estate planning documents, it’s vital to make certain that the language actually carries out the intent of the person that owns the assets. There is simply too much for one person to take into account when beginning this process.
We earlier wrote about a case where the Florida Supreme Court was forced to make determinations concerning a will that contained inadequate provisions to describe where all of the testator’s property should be distributed. Because property was not mentioned in that will, it ended up going to two nieces who were not referenced in the will under intestate succession. Also, because a codicil to the will was not executed with the same formalities that are required in a formal will those provisions would also have been considered enforceable. (As it turns out the codicil only had one witness when it required two under Florida law.)
Obviously no one would want to repeat these kinds of mistakes. Professional advice from an attorney that practices in the estate planning area would prevent these sorts of errors from occurring. Individuals often work for more than 40 years in building up of their estate and will have very personal reasons for wanting the proceeds to be distributed in a certain manner after they die.
There are circumstances when a will would be the best option for an individual. There are other circumstances where the setting up of testamentary trusts may prove more beneficial. However, many individuals who attempt to go it on their own may not have even been aware that a variety of options do exist.
Source: Marco News, “It’s The Law: Do-it-yourself will can be dangerous,” William Morris, April 25, 2014