Over half of all Americans do not have an estate plan according to surveys conducted on the subject. Many people indicate that they haven’t created an estate plan because they do not believe they need one. The reality is that everyone can benefit from an estate plan. Even if you have very little in the way of assets, you may still need at least a basic
Last Will and Testament. People often make the mistake of assuming that you need a large estate to use the services of an estate planning attorney. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We help people all the time create basic Wills to ensure that the Will they create is drafted and executed properly.
Your Will is the starting point for your estate plan. For now, you may not need anything more than a Will; however, down the road you can expand from your Will and include additional estate planning tools and strategies as your estate grows. In today’s digital world it is easy to find boilerplate Wills on the internet. People frequently make the mistake of using these forms in an attempt to save money. Unfortunately, the money you save today using a boilerplate Will form could cost your estate and your loved ones significantly more down the road.
Generic Will forms found on the internet or at your local stationary store may cause problems down the road for a number of reasons, including:
- Incorrect information – the bottom line is you typically have no idea who created the form so there is no way of knowing if the information and language found in the form is correct.
- Outdated information – laws relating to Wills, trusts, and estates are subject to change. Any boilerplate forms include outdated information and/or language.
- Not state specific – laws relating to Wills and estates vary from state to state. A generic form may not include state specific language necessary to validate the document or achieve the intended purpose.
- Improper execution – an improperly executed Will is invalid. East state determines how a Will must be executed to be valid. A boilerplate form may not lead to proper execution, thereby leaving you with and invalid Will.
A single error in Will can cause the entire document to be declared invalid by the court charged with overseeing the probate of your estate. If that happens, none of your intentions will be fulfilled. Moreover, your estate may lose a significant portion of its value to fees relating to the litigation that can stem from an invalid Will, meaning your loved ones will lose considerably more than you saved by not using an estate planning attorney for the creation of your Last Will and Testament.
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