By Brandon Allen, McDonald, Levy and Taylor, PLLC Attorney
Do I need a lawyer to draft my Last Will and Testament?
We strongly advise that you have an attorney draft your Will. The guidelines for these documents are governed by law. Ambiguities or confusing language in a Will could lead to many issues, and the person who made the Will is no longer around to clear up those issues. A Will must be constructed so that it speaks for itself at the time of administration. There are guidelines for executing a Will that must be followed. Was the person competent? Was the person on medication at the end of his life that may have altered his ability to execute such a document? It is also very important to prepare a Will in a manner to avoid disputes or contests. Was a family member left out of a Will intentionally, or did the person drafting the Will simply forget to include a relative that should be entitled to take as a beneficiary?
Many Wills are contested because a family member or friend feels they were executed poorly or were improperly drafted. If a Will is invalid, the estate will often pass through the laws of intestacy. This may mean that the person who passed away is not able to have her wishes honored. Those who were closest to that person may take none of the proceeds as intended by the Testator.
If you are in need of a Will, Power of Attorney, Advanced Healthcare Directive, or other estate planning need, we are happy to help! Please call our office for a consultation so that we may discuss your best path forward.