Texas residents may decide to use boilerplate forms to construct their estate plans. They might believe that doing so will be an easier and less expensive way to adequately meet their needs. However, there could be a variety of unintended consequences that occur as a result of the use of these forms. For instance, a will template may not come with a residuary clause. This means that beneficiaries might only be entitled to receive assets listed in the document.
Property that is purchased, inherited or otherwise acquired after the will has been completed would likely pass to a spouse, parent or other family member. It is important to note that it may be possible to add a clause to a will that covers assets not listed in the document.
However, failing to do so could result in a costly court battle. Money spent to cover legal fees and other expenses might equal the amount that a person saved by not hiring an attorney or other professional to draw up estate plan documents. It can also result in conflict between family members that could result in strained or fractured relationships.
Those who are going through the estate planning process may want to first meet with an experienced attorney who might be able to suggest an assortment of plan documents that could meet an individual’s needs. If a person does choose to use boilerplate or do-it-yourself will or trust documents, an attorney may be able to review them and make changes if necessary.