5 Problems With Handwritten Wills
Many people want to save time and money where they can, even when they’re planning their estate. However, a will is one of those things you can’t do without a professional. You might think that a handwritten will is fine, but handwritten wills offer little protection and can lead to numerous problems for your loved ones after you pass away.
The estate planning attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC are here to share the biggest problems with handwritten wills and why consulting with an experienced will attorney is important when planning your estate.
The Problems With Handwritten Wills
#1. Lack of Legal Language
One of the main issues with a handwritten will – also known as a holographic will – is the lack of legal language. Estate planning is a complex process, and using the correct terminology and structure in your will is crucial to making sure that your wishes are carried out. Probate courts can’t always take your words as you mean them when they are first bound by probate law.
Without the proper legal language, your handwritten will may be deemed invalid by a probate court. This can also lead to disputes among beneficiaries and delay the distribution of your assets. Your beneficiaries can potentially see your assets used to fund legal proceedings and split up in ways you did not want.
Another problem with handwritten wills is ambiguity. While your words may make sense to you, it may not to a probate judge. Even if they seem to at first, a beneficiary or even a disowned heir can claim to interpret your meaning in another way.
This can result in unclear or conflicting instructions, leading to confusion and disagreements among both your loved ones and not-so-beloved parties. This may even lead to legal challenges for your intended beneficiaries.
As experienced estate planning attorneys, we can help you clearly express your wishes in a legally binding document, minimizing the risk of ambiguity or misinterpretation.
#3. Lack of Witnesses
In most states, a will must be witnessed to be considered valid. This means that there should be at least two witnesses present when you sign your will. It’s not enough to sign it and then show it to two people. If your handwritten will does not have proper witnesses, a court may deem it invalid. This can, again, lead to disputes and delays in distributing your assets.
Even then, it would not be unexpected for someone to call your handwritten will’s legitimacy into question based on whether or not witnesses were present.
#4. Risk of Fraud or Forgery
Handwritten wills are also more susceptible to fraud or forgery. Without a lawyer overseeing the process, there is a higher risk of someone altering the will or creating a fake version after your passing.
To protect against fraud or forgery, it is important to have a lawyer draft and oversee the execution of your will. They can also keep the original copy in a safe and secure location.
#5. Difficulty in Probate Process
Finally, handwritten wills can make the probate process more difficult and time-consuming. Probate is the legal process of validating a will and distributing assets according to its instructions.
Without a properly drafted and executed will, the probate process can become even more complicated as they try to verify each statement in it. This can lead to all kinds of delays and potential disputes among your loved ones.
The Benefits of Professional Estate Planning over Handwritten Wills
Professional estate planning offers numerous advantages that can mitigate the problems associated with handwritten wills. Contacting a skilled estate planning attorney from The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC ensures that your estate plan is comprehensive, accurate, and legally sound.
Don’t Use Handwritten Wills. Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC
While handwritten wills may seem like an easy solution for planning your estate, they can actually create more problems for your loved ones than they’re worth.
To ensure that your wishes are carried out properly without potential disputes, it is important to consult with an experienced will attorney when planning your estate. We can help you draft a legally binding document that clearly expresses your wishes and protects your loved ones from unnecessary complications in the future.
Contact us at The Law Offices of Diron Rutty, LLC today for help planning your estate properly.