Elderly lady typing on laptop

Woman does it herself and saves money, but estate and charities may end up paying the bill.

A decision by a woman in Australia to use a do-it-yourself will could end up costing her estate a lot of money, according to News.com.au in “Unholy row as court decides on religious woman’s will.”

Sandra Marie Hatton wanted to give most of her assets to charities that carry on religious work.

Hatton did not see an estate planning attorney to help draft her will, but used a do-it-yourself will form.

Hatton filled it out and then proceeded to make many handwritten changes to it, as she changed her mind about which charities to benefit.

The will itself has been accepted into probate as valid.

The court now also has to decide which of the handwritten changes to accept as valid.

The charities who could benefit from the decisions are all eager to stake their claim and lawyers will have to be hired by Hatton’s estate to help in the case.

Do-it-yourself wills, whether purchased in a kit or online, offer people a way to save some money by cutting out estate planning attorneys.

Unfortunately, as is the case with Hatton’s will, things can go wrong with DIY wills.

Reference: News.com.au (Oct. 15, 2017) “Unholy row as court decides on religious woman’s will.”

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.