I was speaking with a close friend of mine recently and he had some plumbing problems with the bathroom in the basement. Instead of calling a professional plumber to solve the problem that he was having, he decided that he could take care of it himself. Unfortunately, his small problem turned into a very large problem very quickly that he could not resolve himself. This friend now turned to calling a plumber. The plumber that he hired was able to solve the problem, but the total bill was $2500. To make matters worse, the plumber informed him that had he called him earlier instead of attempting to fix it himself, the $2500 repair would only have been a $750 repair.
If you read this far you may be asking yourself, “why is this lawyer telling me this story.” Well, just as you would not attempt (or should not) attempt to fix a plumbing issue yourself, you should not write your own last will and testament without the assistance, or at least speaking to an estate planning lawyer who is trained to put a program in place so that everything passes according to your wishes and goals.
In addition, writing your own will can have devastating consequences just like my friend with his plumbing issue. When you write your own will without the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer, you also run the risk that things will not pass according to your wishes. For example, there was a recent case that went all the way up to the Florida Supreme Court. In this case, a woman had written her own will with the assistance of an online form. However, the will that she had did not have the very important residuary clause. As a result, a portion of her assets did not pass according to her wishes, but according to Florida law.
As I said earlier, this case went all the way up to the Florida Supreme Court. I’m sure you can imagine or just think about all the costs and legal fees that were involved for the family in taking their case into court. I am sure this is not something that this woman would have wanted for her family.
Just as my friend had with the plumber, writing your own will may save you money in the beginning, but could costs you thousands of dollars in the end by completing these important legal documents without the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.
If you have questions about estate Planning in Tennessee, establishing a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust, avoiding nursing home poverty and Medicaid planning, probate or any other estate planning topics, then I encourage you to attend one of our live free educational events scheduled this month. At these events, you will hear a lot of real life stories about families that paid thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses, families that were able to avoid unnecessary expenses, and families that were able to protect their assets from unnecessary nursing home costs and expenses.
I look forward to speaking with you at one of our upcoming live educational events!