The potential pitfalls of a template estate plan

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2020 | Blog

Nevada residents and others who are creating an estate plan are encouraged to do so with the help of an estate planning professional. Using template forms when making a will can lead to a variety of unintended consequences. For instance, a template might not contain a residuary clause that would allow all of a person’s assets to be distributed according to the document’s instructions. Without such a clause, it is likely that only assets listed on the will are transferred to a beneficiary.

This can be problematic in the event that a person inherits property after the will has been created. Those assets could be distributed to heirs in the same way that they would have if an individual had died intestate. In some cases, beneficiaries may choose to pursue legal action to obtain tangible or intangible assets that they believe were meant for them.

However, this may simply result in a significant amount of time and money spent in court without obtaining a favorable outcome. Furthermore, the money that is spent on court fees and other costs could negate the savings realized by using template forms instead of working with an estate planning professional. It is also important to consider that a legal challenge could result in family infighting or strained relationships between family members.

An attorney may be able to help a person go through the process of creating a will, trust or other estate plan document. Working with an attorney may minimize the chances of a legal challenge to a will. In some cases, legal counsel may help individuals include language that disinherits any person who does decide to dispute a person’s final wishes. Avoiding these and other disputes may allow a deceased individual’s estate to be settled in a timely manner.