The employees of our firm are big proponents of saving money and being good stewards of your assets. However, many people confuse being cheap with being wise managers of their money. There is definitely a difference between the two actions. That is why we are reminding you to take caution when not seeking a qualified, state-specific lawyer to draft your estate planning documents in an effort to save money.
In one Florida case, the "do it yourself" Will of a women had so many discrepancies and omissions that the woman's estate was taken all of the way to the Florida Supreme Court to determine how the property was going to be distributed to the woman's heirs after the woman died. The attorney fees incurred for the case cost substantially more than what the fees would have been for the woman to have had her Will prepared properly by a qualified attorney before her death.
Many attorneys who choose to practice in this area of law have some advanced certification or accreditation in the field because of how difficult this area of law can be to practice. That is even more reason why a person who tries to draft his or her own Will, Trust, etc. should read the article that was posted on the Sydney Morning Herald website about the dangers of "do it yourself" documents. Sometimes not having any estate planning documents at all can be better than having documents that are self-prepared due to the problems that can occur with documents that don't comport with state law and are ambiguous.