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Frie, Arndt & Danborn Blog

Danger of “homemade” Wills

by Bob Frie

Many people are afraid to go to lawyers or they don’t want to spend the money for an attorney to draft a Will for them. So they prepare their own wills. The majority of the time these “homemade” Wills are written in language that allows room for challenging by heirs. In the end their probate estate spends the money on lawyers and legal battles for the Court to decide what the Will should have already stated.

For example, we’ve seen “homemade” Wills that forgot to name a Personal Representative or an executor of the estate. When there is not a Personal Representative named in a Will, then there has to be a hearing at Court to determine who shall be the Personal Representative.Will2

“Homemade” Wills often do not clearly state how assets are to be divided. For example, someone may want an heir to have the opportunity to purchase the home but their “homemade” Will doesn’t clearly state the manner or timeframe of the purchase. Sometimes an adult child lives in the parent’s home for a short time but ends up living permanently in the home because of poorly drafted language in the “homemade” Will.

No layman should attempt to draft a Will if his or her spouse has dementia or if any child or grandchild to be included in their estate planning has special needs. Provisions for such heirs need to be carefully drafted or a disabled individual will not be eligible for Medicaid.

Many “homemade” Wills are often executed wrong. You cannot just type out a Will and sign it.

In the long run, it will be more beneficial for your heirs if you take the time and hire an attorney to draft and help you execute a correct Will.

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