Who Should Help Me with My Estate Planning Documents?

Jacksonville Estate Planning Jacksonville meetingCan I do it myself?
It is possible for a person to do his or her own Florida estate planning with forms or books bought at a stationery or bookstore or from the State Bar. At the least, a review of such forms can be helpful in preparing you for doing estate planning. If you do review such materials and have any unanswered questions, however, you should seek professional help form a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.

Will documents I prepare myself be valid?
In Florida most estate planning documents must comply with the Florida Statute of Wills. This requires that they be witnessed by two witnesses in the presence of each other and a notary who is present and witnesses the signature of the creator of the document. There are other documents which make the documents easier to use in the event that becomes necessary. For example a will or trust can have a self proving affidavit which eliminates the necessity to prove the will in a probate process. Many forms, software, and online services are not current when there are law changes. For example this year there were changes in the way Florida revocable trusts must be executed in Florida.

What about updates?
One of the most common problems with using software to create wills is that to make minor changes requires a new license. Most will software only comes with a 1 year license. This is good because it will probably be current under the laws or recent laws. The bad part is that there are often additional fees incurred with the new software licenses.

Do I Need a Professional To Help?
If you do seek advice, Florida Wills and Florida Trusts are legal documents which should be prepared only by a qualified Florida Estate Planning Lawyer. However, many other professionals and business representatives may become involved in your Florida Estate Planning Process. A certified public accountant, life insurance agent, bank trust officer, and financial planner often share in a Complete Florida Estate Planning process. These professionals can help you in planning your estate.

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