04 Apr E-Z Legal Form
I would be disingenuous if I said I was not worried by the influx of “do it yourself” legal forms (specifically in an estates and trusts context) available for non-attorneys. Some people are turning to these sorts of services because they rationalize that paying for an attorney to prepare these documents is just too expensive. The ABA Journal recently had an article titled “Estate dispute caused by ‘E-Z Legal Form’ is a ‘cautionary tale,’ says justice” where they discussed a case where the decedent’s nieces, who were not mentioned in the will, ended up receiving under the will. Essentially, the decedent wanted someone else to receive from her estate but because the pre-printed forms did not factor in a very important aspect, it frustrated the decedent’s intent.
Just Pariente goes on to say she “take[s] this opportunity to highlight a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of utilizing pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance. As this case illustrates, that decision can ultimately result in the frustration of the testator’s intent, in addition to the payment of extensive attorney’s fees—the precise results the testator sought to avoid in the first place.” The decedent’s wishes were not realized by use of an E-Z Legal Form, which was the very purpose of doing a will in the first place.
While the Rana Law Group, LLC does not handle estates and trusts matters, we were closely with other attorneys who handle this type of work. If you, or someone you know, needs a referral, CONTACT US and we would be happy to refer you over.
Tarun B. Rana, Esq.
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