Comprehensive Estate Planning And Probate Advocacy

The inherent risks of estate planning with a DIY will

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Wills

You might think that a do-it-yourself (DIY) will could save you a lot of money and unnecessary hassle when planning for the future of your estate, especially with the abundance of online resources and software available today. However, in utilizing this kind of will, you could be setting your estate plans up for potential problems down the road. Your legacy may be at risk if things go south.

One of the main risks of a DIY will is the potential for errors or omissions. A legally valid and enforceable will in Pennsylvania must meet some requirements specified by the law. For instance, the will must be in writing, signed and witnessed by at least two individuals who are not beneficiaries. A DIY will may not meet these legal formalities, which can lead to the will being contested or even declared invalid in court.

A DIY will may be prone to ambiguity

It’s easy to get the wording wrong with a DIY will, which can create issues during the probate process. Ambiguity or a lack of clarity in a will may arise from unclear language or insufficient details that can lead to confusion about your intentions. This can result in disputes among your heirs and beneficiaries, potentially setting the stage for costly legal battles.

Failure to address complex family situations or unique assets

A will should be tailored to your unique situation and desired objectives. For example, a generic DIY will may not suffice if you have a blended family, minor children or beneficiaries with special needs. Similarly, a DIY will may not fully address the distribution of complex assets like intellectual property, collectibles or business interests.

These and other risks of a DIY will underscore the need for qualified legal guidance when crafting your estate plans. There is too much at stake to take your chances and leave your loved ones in limbo when you are gone.