Many state Supreme Courts have pro se forms for people to use when filing different types of legal actions. A Senate proposal in Texas is proposing that the state’s Supreme Court be required to create forms for estate planning and probate.
Many people cannot afford lawyers or they do not believe they need lawyers for their legal needs. This has spawned an industry that sells standardized legal forms for people to fill out and file with the courts. These forms are often cheaper than hiring an attorney on the front-end. On the other hand, if the forms are inaccurate or filled out incorrectly, then hiring attorneys to fix any problems can get expensive.
One response from state courts is to create their own official forms and offer them for free. This is especially common in family law.
The Wills, Trust & Estates Prof Blog reports on a current debate in the Texas Senate to require the Supreme Court to create standardized forms in estate and probate law. The article is titled “Texas Senate Bill Proposes Pro Se Estate Planning Forms.”
One potential downside to this proposal is that it might encourage even more people to think all they need to do estate planning is to fill out a form instead of hiring an attorney. The truth, however, is that the more complex your assets and your family situation is, the more you need an attorney.
If you have few assets and wish to leave them all to your spouse, then a form will might, in fact, be good enough. When things get just a little bit more complex than that, then you really need the advice of an estate planning attorney.
Please contact our office today at 239-225-7911 to schedule an appointment with Barbara M. Pizzolato if you are interested in protecting your legacy and need to create or update your estate plan. You may also wish to attend one of our free seminars.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (March 9, 2015) “Texas Senate Bill Proposes Pro Se Estate Planning Forms”