Advanced Estate Planning

Are Do-it-yourself Wills Legal?

There is some debate as to whether do-it-yourself wills are legal. However, in most cases, they are considered to be legally binding documents. This means that if you have a will that you created yourself, it can be used to determine how your assets will be distributed after you die.

In this guide, we go over the basics of do-it-yourself wills and how they can be used to create a legally binding document.

What Is a DIY Will?

A do-it-yourself will is a document that is created by an individual without the help of an attorney. These types of wills are typically created using online templates or software programs.

While there are many benefits to creating a will yourself, there are also some risks. One of the biggest concerns with do-it-yourself wills is that they may not be valid in all states. Additionally, if your will is not properly executed, it could be challenged in court.

Another concern is that you may not be able to accurately assess your assets and liabilities. This could result in your beneficiaries not receiving their fair share of your estate.

It’s also important to note that do-it-yourself wills typically require more effort to create and update than wills that are created with the help of an attorney.

How to Create a DIY Will

Do-it-yourself wills are created using online templates or software programs. You can also find many do-it-yourself will kits at your local stationery store.

When creating a do-it-yourself will, you will need to include the following information:

1. Your full name and address
2. The names and addresses of your beneficiaries
3. A list of your assets and how you would like them to be distributed
4. Your signature and the date of the will

You should also have your will witnessed by two adults who are not beneficiaries of the will. The witnesses should sign the will in your presence and they should also date the document.

Creating a will is an important step in ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. However, it is important to note that a do-it-yourself will may not be valid in all states. Before you create a will, you should check with your local laws to make sure that it will be legally binding.

Is a DIY Will Permitted in Florida?

In the state of Florida, do-it-yourself wills are considered to be legal documents. This means that you can use a do-it-yourself will to determine how your assets will be distributed after you die.

However, many experts advise against using a do-it-yourself will. This is because there are a number of complexities that can arise when distributing assets. If you are not familiar with the law, it is easy to make a mistake that could invalidate your will.

It is always best to consult with an experienced attorney when creating a will. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the law and ensure that your will is valid.

What Are the Risks of Using a DIY Will?

There are a number of risks associated with using a do-it-yourself will. First, if you make a mistake when creating your will, it could be invalidated. This means that your assets would be distributed according to intestacy laws, which may not be in accordance with your wishes.

Second, if you do not update your will on a regular basis, it may not reflect your current wishes. This is especially true if you experience a major life event, such as getting married or having children.

Finally, if you move to a different state, your will may no longer be valid. This is because each state has its own laws regarding wills and estate planning.

Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney before you create a will. An attorney can help you understand the risks associated with do-it-yourself wills and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Please note also that Florida requires personal representatives to be a blood relative. In some cases, relation through marriage is permitted.

What Happens if My Will is Invalidated?

If your will is invalidated, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. Under the laws of intestacy, your assets will be distributed to your spouse and children. If you do not have a spouse or children, your assets will be distributed to your parents.

The laws of intestacy can be complex, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney if you have any questions. An attorney can help you understand how your assets will be distributed if your will is invalidated.

How Can I Make Sure My Will is Valid?

There are a few steps you can take to make sure you have a valid will. First, you should consult with an experienced attorney before you create a will. An attorney can help you understand the risks associated with do-it-yourself wills and ensure that your will is valid.

Second, you should update your will on a regular basis. This is especially true if you experience a major life event, such as getting married or having children.

Finally, you should keep your will in a safe place. You should also give a copy of your will to your executor and any beneficiaries.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your will is valid.

Why Is a Will Important?

A will is an important tool that allows you to control how your assets will be distributed after you die. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which may not be in accordance with your wishes.

Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney before you create a will. An attorney can help you understand the risks associated with do-it-yourself wills and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Call Doane & Doane Today to Speak with a Wills Attorney

If you have questions about wills or estate planning, call Doane & Doane today to speak with an experienced attorney. Our attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of the law and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling 561-656-0200. You may also connect with us via our contact form.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.