Common Errors Made With DIY Wills
All adults in Florida should create a last will and testament, even if they do not use any other estate planning tools. Today, with so many documents found online that you can simply fill out, many people are choosing to save themselves on legal costs by drafting a will on their own. Unfortunately, when using these DIY tools, people make some common mistakes. These errors could result in the will being deemed null and void, which means your last wishes may not be fulfilled. Below, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer outlines the most common mistakes made, and how to avoid them.
Improperly Executing the Will
The details you include in your will are very important. However, how your will is executed is of equal importance. All wills in Florida must be signed by the testator, or the person who created the will, as well as two witnesses. While not required, having a will notarized also makes it self-proving, which does not require the testimony of the witnesses. All of this must be done in a certain order. For example, if you try to get the will notarized after signing it, the will may be deemed null and void because you must sign it in front of the notary.
Choosing an Ineligible Personal Representative
Just as there are certain requirements wills must meet, there are also certain requirements for personal representatives. People who are under the age of 18 years old or who have been convicted of a felony cannot act as the personal representative. If you choose an ineligible personal representative, the court will appoint one and it may not be someone you would have chosen.
Using Ambiguous Terms
The language contained within a will should be as specific as possible. The purpose of a will is to leave clear instructions for your loved ones after you pass away. Unfortunately, when people draft their own will, they often use ambiguous terms inadvertently and what is clear to them is not evident to surviving loved ones or the courts. If you are not specific in your will, it can cause a serious dispute that may even require probate litigation.
Not Including Important Details
You should never assume that your loved ones automatically know how you want your estate distributed. You should make sure your will makes the necessary arrangements for your assets and other property, as well as any debt you carry. If you do not include these important details in your will, it could cause conflict in the future.
Our Wills and Trusts Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help You Avoid Mistakes
A will is only as good as its execution and if yours is not executed properly, it could lead to many problems for your family in the future. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer can help you create an estate plan and avoid mistakes so your last wishes are fulfilled. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.