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November 8, 2019

You might know that you should have a last will and testament, though you put off calling an attorney to create one. You see ads online for do-it-yourself wills, and you wonder – do I even need a lawyer to create a will? While the law does not require everyone to have legal help to draft a will, it is definitely advisable to create your will with the assistance of an experienced Florida estate planning attorney.

Common Mistakes without Legal Guidance

Even if people have the best intentions when drafting their own will, estate planning can be more complicated than you might imagine, and many people make costly mistakes.

Your will is not valid – Florida has strict laws that govern when a will is enforceable or not. To make matters more complex, each state has its own requirements for a valid will. If you create a will on your own, you will not have the counsel of an attorney who is specifically familiar with Florida law, and you risk noncompliance with will requirements. This means your will might not be enforced after you pass away.

Choosing the wrong personal representative – When it comes time to choose a personal representative of your estate, which is designated in your will, many people select someone without enough consideration. For example, you might automatically choose your spouse or adult child, but will they be able and willing to handle the complex tasks involved? If your personal representative is not capable of the role, passes away before you, or does not reside in the United States, the court will have to select someone to fill the role, which can cause delays and complications.

Not considering the future – When people create their own wills, they often consider the property they have then and there. However, we all know that our estates can change over time, and neglecting to consider the future – or revisit your will in the future – can cause serious problems. For example:

  • You have an estate value of $400,000 when you create your will
  • You leave $100,000 to your alma mater and state the rest should be divided between your three children, which would be $100,000 each.
  • Your estate value goes down over the years due to expenses and investment losses, and you only have $250,000 
  • According to the will, your alma mater would then get $100,000, while each of your children gets only $50,000

You likely did not mean for your children to get less than your university, and this can be avoided with the help of an experienced attorney.

Contact our Coral Springs Estate Planning Attorney for More Information

The Legacy Law Firm helps clients draft effective and enforceable wills, as well as update and amend existing wills. We strive to achieve your estate planning goals, so you can be confident that your estate and beneficiaries are properly protected. If you would like to learn more about how we can help with your estate plan, call our Coral Springs estate planning lawyer at 954-999-9683  or contact us online today.