With templates of legal documents readily available online, it’s no surprise that many people are creating their Last Will and Testaments themselves. After all, it’s an easy way to save some money, right? In fact, these wills can quickly become a costly disaster. Here are some of the problems with DIY wills, from a top NJ estate planning attorney.
- Using a single tool for a complex financial situation: No matter how simple you think your will should be, the fact is that there are more and often better tools out there to get you the results you want than a will on its own. There are family trusts that allow you to bypass estate tax, legal mechanisms that can help you determine the rules for the use of your assets, and so forth. While a will is useful, it is not always the best single solution even for small, simple estates.
- Misinterpretation of language/lack of clarity: Anyone who has ever had to read a legal document knows just exactly how much effort needs to go into the language used in the document to ensure there are no conflicts, loopholes or confusion. DIY wills often lack this element, and missing or incorrect clauses made them vulnerable to misinterpretation. This means your will could end up contested in court by fighting loved ones, or that your wishes are misinterpreted or ignored.
- Not covering all your bases: Estate planning attorneys have the experience needed to ensure that your will comprehensively covers your estate. DIY wills often fall victim to missing assets and accounts, forgotten provisions, or excluded beneficiaries. With an attorney, no stone will be left unturned and everything from your spouse and children to your pets and favorite charity will be included.
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution: DIY wills treat every person’s estate as equal – and yet none of us have the same financial needs, obligations and responsibilities as anyone else. Blended families, single people, wealthy people, people needing Medicaid planning, people with pets, people with sick spouses, new families… all of us have an entirely unique financial situation and only a unique financial solution will ensure that our wishes for our estates are properly met.
Professional estate planning in New Jersey ensures your wishes are met
You deserve a legal solution that is uniquely tailored to your needs, speak to New Jersey estate planning attorney Frank R. Campisano today. Whether you want to create a Last Will and Testament or are interested in updating more complex estate planning documents such as trusts, Medical Directive and Power of Attorney documents, he can ensure that the right legal documentation is developed in order to meet your specific wishes.