Many of the dilemmas that sometimes come up with wills in Houma, Louisiana, such as contests brought by would-be beneficiaries, or devises which aren't clear on what they mean, can be avoided if the will is properly drafted in the first place.
Drafting a will doesn't need to be a perplexing or especially expensive process. If you have a small to moderate amount of assets (limited to a home, a car, and a few bank/investment accounts), and don't need to set up trusts or anything similar, you can probably have a will written in just a couple days, for a relatively small fee.
But even if the will is comparatively simple, some preventable problems can derail the process. An experienced lawyer in Houma, Louisiana who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.
Most of the dilemmas that plague wills stem from failure on the part of the drafter to comply with the required formalities. These requirements aren't terribly complicated, but they have to be followed to the letter if a will is to be valid. Usually, wills have to be witnessed and signed by at least 2 people, and it must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a will. You should choose the witnesses cautiously, because if they have any direct interest in the will, they won't count as valid witnesses.
Holographic Wills in Houma, Louisiana
In some states, you can make what is known as a "holographic will." This is simply a will which is handwritten, in the testator's own handwriting. They do not need to be witnessed in order to be valid.
A holographic will, where they are allowed, will generally be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.
You should, however, know that not all states allow holographic wills. In such states, you can still hand write your will if you want, but all the formalities, such as witnesses, must be present.
If your state allows them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For instance, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. Nonetheless, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.
How Can A Houma, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a reputable Houma, Louisiana attorney help in making your will. Even if your will is quite simple, and you have all the formalities figured out, it's still easy to make mistakes without a good once-over by a professional.