This month we posted several blogs where we discussed what a will is and why everyone should have one. In this blog, I want to focus on a very important topic, who should draft your will? A few years ago, people would visit their lawyer and get their estate planning documents done. Now there are ads on television and the internet promoting DIY Will Kits. The idea sounds great in theory, you don’t need to visit a lawyer’s office and the cost is usually much less expensive. But buyer beware! The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is often true, and there is a higher risk involved in obtaining your legal help from a stranger on the internet, or a set of forms from a local office supply store. You wouldn’t try to fix the electrical wiring in your house by watching a Youtube video on it, you’d hire a licensed electrician, an expert, to ensure that it is done properly. Why would you not do the same for something as important as estate planning?
Every state has different estate planning laws. All too often, a grieving spouse will visit our office to discuss probating their spouse’s will, a will that they obtained online and completed themselves. Upon reviewing the will and seeing that it does not conform to Florida law, or that it was improperly executed, I must inform the mourning spouse that the will is invalid. As a result, we end up using Florida statutes to probate the estate and assets are often not passed on as the deceased had intended.
Lastly, there is the case of the family law attorney who has become your friend and will happily draft some estate planning documents for you. While your divorce attorney may have done a great job finalizing a divorce for you and even obtaining custody of your children, that does not mean that they are equally qualified to draft your will. Yet, you still need a new will since your family situation has changed. Throughout my career I have noticed that many attorneys will try to obtain as much work from you as possible regardless of their qualifications. So, when you ask them if they can draft some estate planning documents for you, their reply is ‘yes’, even when another attorney is more fit to complete the task. Our philosophy at Ourednik Law Offices has always been to help provide clients and potential clients with the best asset protection and estate planning possible. However, when someone asks if we can help them with a family law issue or employment law issue, we refer them to skilled attorneys in those respective fields. We won’t take your case unless we believe that we are the best choice to meet your legal needs.