Home > business, Uncategorized > Estate Dispute Caused by “E-Z Legal Form” – Another Illustration of the Need For Sound Legal Counsel in any Legal Transaction.

Estate Dispute Caused by “E-Z Legal Form” – Another Illustration of the Need For Sound Legal Counsel in any Legal Transaction.

 

I wrote a previous post about the Problem with Universal Legal Forms

 

The ABA Journal reports another example making headlines, that highlights my point.

 

In the article a Florida woman, Mrs. Aldrich, used an E-Z legal Will form that she filled out herself; after she passed away it became apparent that the Will did not have the proper language included in it to handle the “residuary” of her estate.

 

Because of that defect in the Will, her intentions were overridden by intestacy laws, basically the “default will” of the State. Under those laws, Mrs. Aldrich’s two nieces were beneficiaries of her estate, even though not named in the Will.

 

I appreciate the comments from the Justices, as cited by the ABA article:

 

Concurring Justice Barbara Pariente saw the ruling as a cautionary tale. “While I appreciate that there are many individuals in this state who might have difficulty affording a lawyer,” Pariente said, “this case does remind me of the old adage ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish.’ …

“I therefore take this opportunity to highlight a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of utilizing pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance. As this case illustrates, that decision can ultimately result in the frustration of the testator’s intent, in addition to the payment of extensive attorney’s fees—the precise results the testator sought to avoid in the first place.”

 

Another adage –  “Anyone who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

 

This is another cautionary tale of why it pays to retain counsel before making any legal decisions, whether it is related to business, real estate, or estate transactions.

 

Questions? Comments?

email: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

http://www.dwlawpc.com

 

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