You can go to the bookstore to find an introductory guide to estate planning or even download pre-made forms right off the internet. While these may seem like clever ways to beat the system, estate planning without professional support can lead to major issues.
Those trying to create a last will or trust in Florida will almost always benefit more from cooperating with an attorney than they would from trying to handle the creation of those documents on their own. Why is it so important to work with a legal professional when drafting a will or trust?
Generic documents don’t always comply with state law
Florida has some unique probate laws. Even terms that would be legal in another state could cause issues in your Florida will.
For example, there is a rule against including a no-contest clause in your will. The Florida probate courts won’t uphold such a clause even if you try to disinherit those who challenge your wishes. Including inaccurate or illegal terms in your estate planning documents opens your estate up to challenges.
No two situations are the same
Boilerplate documents that just let you fill in the blank with names of people or specific assets won’t do an adequate job of protecting you and loved ones. These documents contain generic language that will not make them applicable in many cases.
By being so basic, these forms fail to provide the true protection your situation demands. Your unique assets and family circumstances are what should determine the language you use in your estate planning documents. A one-size-fits-all boilerplate form may give you basic protection, but it won’t optimize your control over the estate or your protection as you grow older.
Perhaps the biggest reason to partner with a lawyer instead of handling your estate on your own is that mistakes and oversights could leave the entire plan vulnerable to a challenge later. If you don’t adhere to state law, effort you invest in creating those documents could ultimately go to waste.
By partnering with an attorney, you help ensure that you meet the basic requirements for trusts or wills in Florida while also customizing those documents for your personal circumstances. Realizing that you need professional help with your estate plan could lead to the creation of documents that give you peace of mind and protection.