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Common problems associated with “cookie cutter” wills

When it comes to creating your will, you may feel tempted to take the “easy” route and find a template version online that you can fill out and be on your way. Nowadays, it is not difficult to find a do-it-yourself will, but given the importance and permanent nature of the document, is it really worth cutting corners?

Ultimately, what might save you a few bucks and some time may come back to bite you in the long run, and this is because there are numerous problems that can arise when you try and create your own will. For example, when you opt for a DIY will, you run the risk of:

Failing to execute it properly

Different states have different laws governing what makes a will valid, and not every company selling DIY wills accounts for this. For example, many states require that you have two witnesses present when you sign the will, and that they, too, sign it. If your will does not fit the specific criteria outlined by your state, the court may deem it invalid.

Experiencing confusion over asset allocation

It is a common practice for many people to create their estate plan and allocate their assets to heirs provided that they meet certain conditions. For example, maybe you want to leave a large sum of money to your son but only after he graduates college. Often, cookie cutter wills do not clearly define or explain such conditions, which can lead to confusion and prolong the duties of your executor.

Flubbing your funeral plans

Another common mistake made in a DIY will involves including your wishes for your funeral in it. Often, no one looks at your will until after the burial, so leaving your desires with regard to your funeral in there can prove fruitless.

These are just some of the problems that often arise as a result of DIY wills. To ensure clarity and minimize confusion down the line, you may want to think twice before taking this approach.

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