A will is one of the most basic and important documents for financial planning, especially as you grow closer to retirement.  Many people do not have a will or the will they do have is out of date or riddled with mistakes. Read on to learn more about some of the most common mistakes associated with wills.

Doing a Will on Your Own

Since there are many websites and online documents that claim to help you put together a will, it may seem obvious and easy to use one of these methods. While this is certainly better than not having a will at all, small mistakes in your will can create ambiguous directions or even render the will invalid.

Improper Execution

The majority of problems that ultimately render a will invalid or result in will contests have to do with execution.  Execution refers to the way these documents are witnessed and signed.  While seemingly tedious and inconsequential, completing the signing and witnessing of a will in a legal manner is extremely important and will often determine whether the will is recognized by the courts or contested by your heirs.

Estate Planning Laws Do Change

Because the laws pertaining to estates do change from time to time, including requirements for execution, having your estate planning documents completed by an experienced and knowledgeable Arizona estate planning attorney is one of the most important things you can do to protect your assets as well as your beneficiaries.  The value an estate-planning lawyer brings to your personal estate plan is well worth the cost.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Three Problems with DIY Wills, or any other estate planning matters, please feel free to contact Stephen L. West at 480.461.5341,or Curtis M. Chipman at 480.461.5329. You can also log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.