Lawyer Pleads Case Of Why You Should Avoid Will Kits

Florida lawyer Lesly Carmen Longa objects to will kits, free or otherwise.

In a post on her blog, Florida Willmaker, Longa said savings provided by will kits may be fool’s gold. She writes:

As the Florida Bar states in their consumer pamphlet on wills, “No sensible person would employ ‘just anyone’ to fill teeth, take out an appendix, or deliver a baby.” So why do the same for your important legal documents? If you really are trying to protect the financial security of your loved ones, don’t you think it is worth the money to consult with a professional? For those that do not agree, their heirs will probably have to spend a fortune on lawyer fees to sort out the mess after their passing.

While you may find a kit that claims to have forms for Florida, buyers beware: every kit will make you acknowledge that it does not guarantee that it is able to do what it promises to do. That’s right, it may not provide you an enforceable last will or trust. Sadly, the warnings pop up at you after you buy the software, but most of us do not read them.

The post applies to Florida, but has implications in any state, depending on your local laws. Have any of you drafted wills from a kit that turned out to be ironclad, distributing your possessions to your descendants with ease? Wait, scratch that — do any of you know of any now deceased person who has used one of these kits and had it hold up in court?

Will Form v. Attorney: Is it Worth the Money? [Florida Willmaker]
(Thanks, Neal!)