The concept of “Do it Yourself” is everywhere these days. But doing it yourself when it comes to legal documents can end up in headaches and unnecessary costs to your heirs.
A married couple owned a residence with their son, as joint tenants with right of survivorship. That meant there would be no probate when one of the three died. They wanted to take their son’s name off the deed, but instead of hiring an attorney, they bought a form at an office supply store and prepared the deed themselves. Their son learned after both parents died that the deed they prepared was not with right of survivorship, so each of them owned 50% of the property. That meant probate was required for two estates instead of one. By doing it themselves, they saved a few hundred dollars, but cost their son five times that much after their deaths.
A widow redid her Will shortly after her husband died, with the assistance of a lawyer. A few years later she decided she wanted to change the Executor, but did not want to pay the lawyer to make the change. She crossed out the Executor’s name, handwrote in the name of the person she now wanted, dated and initialed the change. After she died, her family learned that you can’t make changes to a Will by crossing out and initialing. The person she no longer wanted as Executor was the one appointed by the Court. She saved money by doing it herself, but she left her estate in the hands of someone she no longer trusted.
A young couple used a do it yourself program to prepare their Wills. The wife was killed in an accident. After she died, the husband discovered that she’d reversed names when she filled in the blanks, and her sister was named Executor instead of her husband. Not only did the sister live out of state, but she was a terrible procrastinator. They saved money by do it yourself Wills, but caused the grieving husband unnecessary delays and frustration.
You won’t know what mistakes you might be making when you do it yourself. By the time your heirs find out, it will be too late.
That’s why we want to invite you to attend one of our Free Workshops where you can learn even more about how you can really protect you and your loved ones. Go ahead and click to register today: https://debrarobinsonlaw.com/workshops/