There are a number of reasons why it is not a good idea to depend on online downloads or worksheets to create a do-it-yourself estate plan. One of them is the possibility of providing an opening for a successful challenge to your last will.
There are essentially four different grounds for invalidating a last will. One of them is improper execution.
Each state has certain laws regarding how a last will should be executed. When you use a so-called “one-size-fits-all” document you have no way of knowing if it is in fact conforming to the laws that are specific to Kentucky or North Carolina.
Common sense will tell you that the better course of action is to work with an estate planning attorney who is licensed in your state rather than depending on a generic document that you downloaded off the Internet.
Aside from improper execution, other grounds for a will contest include fraud, undue coercion, and the contention that the testator was incapacitated mentally when he or she executed the last will.
We frequently talk about preventing successful will challenges through intelligent planning. However, on the other side of the coin, sometimes a will should be challenged because it is in fact invalid and it is not truly reflecting the wishes of the decedent.
Regardless of which side of the coin you are on, if you would like to learn more, schedule an appointment to discuss your situation with an experienced estate planning lawyer.