Professor Gerry W. Beyer author of the Wills, Trusts, & Estates Professors Blog, as reported on a mistake in estate planning where a “Do it Yourself” Estate Plan Backfires. In this case a mother who did not hire her own estate planning lawyer made a number a big mistake that ended up causing problems withe Medicaid eligibility.
The mother, a widow, was worth 500K. Her home is worth 400K and has 4 children. After her daughter and son-in-law declared bankruptcy and moved in with her, they suggest buying her home. Unfortunately the home was not transfered at fair market value, and the mother made part of the purchase a gift. Mom ended up not having assets to split between the children like she had intended, and if she needs to qualify for medicaid within 5 years she will be disqualified.
Some other examples of Do it your self wills and bad news are covered in my articles listed below
Do it Yourself Wills? More bad news and Do it Yourself Wills? a Good Idea or Not?
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 3
A common mistake found in Florida Probate cases, is where Florida homestead, property that is exempt from probate, is changed to real property and subject to claims of creditors and not exempt from probate.
If you have used software, a form, or an online service to prepare your will, you should have it reviewed by a Florida Estate planning Attorney for potential problems.