Is a "do it yourself" Will worth it? : Brandon Business, Probate and Real Estate Law Blog

Is a "do it yourself" Will worth it?

by Jaimee B. Henbest, Esq. on 04/01/11

With the invention of the internet, the "do it yourself" craze began.  These days, you can find "do-it-yourself" articles on just about anything.  However, it is important to decide which types of things you can effectively do for yourself and those you should not.  Although a "do-it yourself" article on how to bake a Thanksgiving Dinner will probably be ok, using a do it yourself Will can have many undesired results.

Often individuals do not understand the consequences of the choices they make in drafting and signing their Will.  Typically the templates or examples you find online are fill in the blank and generic.  Additionally, the forms are not specific to the state you live in and do not take into account the law where you live. 

For example, a Florida Will must comply with the Florida Statute on Wills to be valid.  How you sign your Will in Florida can have significant impact on the result of your Will, if the Will is contested or submitted for probate.  If a Will does not have a proper self-proving affidavit, the work that must be done to prove the Will is authentic is increased which can cause the family to incur additional costs and delays in the probate process.  Additionally, when having a Will drafted in Florida, it is also important to know that Florida law places restrictions on certain things such as who can be the guardian of your children and who you can leave your homestead to.

You are drafting your Will because you want to ensure that your spouse, children and other relatives are properly taken care of and you want to prevent family infighting after you die.  It is important to make sure your Will is binding so your efforts are not for nothing.  Your family or those you leave behind will be left to deal with the results of your Florida Will or your other Florida estate planning documents.  It is important to get the documents right.  A Florida estate planning attorney can tailor your Will to plan for your specific circumstances and can put you on the right track to making sure that your Will is valid.  For more information on estate planning or how we can help you with your Florida Estate Plan see our website or send us an e-mail.

Posted by Jaimee Henbest
Jaimee Henbest is an associate with the law firm of Rory B. Weiner, P.A.  Jaimee's practice areas include estate planning, probate and trust administration matters and real estate.


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