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DIY and elder law may not mix in Louisiana

Many Louisiana residents find do-it-yourself projects enjoyable. However, there are some tasks for which individuals may wish to gain professional assistance. Estate planning and other elder law topics may be some of those tasks that individuals want to think twice about before completing on their own. If parties do create a will or other document without professional help, inconsistencies could cause issues.

Though filling out documents online may seem convenient, wills and other estate plan documents may serve their purposes better if they are clear and concise. The language and wording of a will could have different meanings to those who read it. Therefore, if one person believes that a deceased individual's will had one meaning and another individual interpreted it differently, the court may have to step in to determine the intentions of the deceased and meaning of the document.

Another issue that could come about with a DIY will is that there is no guarantee that the individual who created it is qualified to make decisions. For instance, if an individual wants to take advantage of someone else's estate, that individual could potentially force another party to execute an undesired will. Surviving family may need to take legal action in order to ensure that the loved one's true wishes are carried out.

If a will dispute does come about, probate litigation may be necessary to sort through the issues. Experienced elder law attorneys could assist Louisiana residents take the steps toward uncovering what their deceased family member may have meant with a will. Of course, these attorneys could also help individuals with their estate plans to better ensure that the expressed desires are true and clear and lessen the likelihood of litigation.

Source: lexology.com, "Do It Yourself Wills: Will They Lead to More Litigation?", Will Sleeth, Nov. 7, 2016

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