Daniel W. Uhlfelder P.A. | Attorneys At Law


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How working with a litigator can make for a stronger estate plan

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Estate Planning

Some people think that any lawyer can put together an estate plan. There are even some people who forgo getting any in-person legal support at all and, instead, use boilerplate documents or cut-rate software as a means of putting together their estate planning documents.

Small mistakes, like failing to have proper witnesses, can invalidate paperwork. As a result, many people have drafted estate planning documents that are not enforceable under state law. These testators may save a little money in the short term by trying to draft their own will or other estate planning documents, but they may end up with no control over their legacy when their family members choose to challenge their estate plans.

Working with a lawyer can help people to put together valid and enforceable documents that comply with state law. Some testators intentionally partner with litigators rather than those who simply specialize in drafting documents because they want to more thoroughly protect themselves. These are just some of the ways in which a litigator can help someone who is planning a legacy.

They can identify risk factors for challenges

Someone familiar with probate litigation is in a unique position to help a testator. After all, a solid estate plan isn’t just about communicating someone’s wishes but instead about helping ensure those wishes determine what happens with their property.

An attorney can more effectively evaluate estate planning paperwork for issues and terms that might trigger a challenge in the future. Florida does not uphold no-contest clauses, so testators often need to be especially careful about avoiding estate planning mistakes that would lead to their family members challenging their wishes in probate court.

A probate lawyer with litigation experience understands what kinds of issues may lead to probate court disputes and also what will typically influence the way a judge resolves such conflicts. They can also help people achieve specific goals for the descent of their property by putting together custom documents to suit their needs.

A probate litigator has the necessary experience to identify risk factors and challenges based on someone’s existing paperwork and wishes. They can help a testator more effectively craft documents intended to avoid litigation while maximizing the protection they have as they age and the control they have over their legacy after they die.

Taking advantage of strong legal resources can make a major difference for someone who wants to create an estate plan or update their existing documents in order to leave behind a meaningful legacy after they die in Florida.