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Potential drawbacks of a DIY will

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Uncategorized

The estate planning process is an important aspect of securing your legacy and working to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.

You may be tempted to write your own will as a cost-saving measure or out of convenience. While a DIY will may seem like a simple solution, there are potential drawbacks to consider. They include the following.

Improper storage

A DIY will is more likely to be improperly stored or not kept in a secure location compared to a will prepared with the assistance of a professional. Without proper storage measures, such as a fireproof safe or secure filing system, your DIY will may be susceptible to damage, loss or unauthorized access. This can lead to complications during the probate process or even disputes over the authenticity of the will if it cannot be located or if alterations are suspected.

Risk of invalidation

In Michigan, a will must meet specific legal requirements to be considered valid. These requirements include being in signed by the testator (the person making the will) or by someone else in the testator’s presence and at their direction and signed by at least two witnesses. Failure to adhere to these requirements could render the DIY will invalid, leading to intestacy or legal challenges during probate.

Ambiguity

A will should be unambiguous regarding your intentions for the distribution of your assets, appointment of guardians for minor children and any other instructions or wishes you have. However, DIY wills may lack the precision and specificity necessary to eliminate ambiguity. Using generic language or failing to address potential contingencies could result in confusion or disagreements among beneficiaries, executors or the court tasked with interpreting your will. Ambiguities in your DIY will could lead to costly legal battles, delays in the probate process and ultimately, frustration for your loved ones.

Ultimately, it is important to consider seeking legal guidance to help ensure that your will accurately reflects your wishes, complies with relevant laws and minimizes the risk of potential drawbacks associated with a DIY approach.