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Handwritten wills lead to a lot of problems

It used to be that all wills were written by hand. Today, though, most are typed out. Often, you have both electronic copies and paper copies.

There are a lot of reasons for this change -- the rise in computer technology over the decades not being least among them -- but one major reason is that typing out a will avoids some serious problems and issues that crop up with handwritten wills.

For instance, what do you do if you have a handwritten will, and you want to change it? Do you start all over and draft a new document? Do you cross things out? If you do the former, will that create confusion for your heirs when someone produces an outdated copy? If you do the latter, does it make it confusing and impossible to read?

On top of that, one of the main ways to determine if a handwritten will is valid is by looking at the handwriting itself. However, some judges don't feel comfortable with this, especially if the will is challenged by an heir. Does a handwritten will make fraud more likely? Even if there is no fraud, does it open the door for estate disputes because your heirs do not trust that your will is real and valid?

These are all complications that you want to avoid. They make life far harder for your family during this difficult time, which is exactly what you wanted to avoid when you decided to make the estate plan. Take the time to consider how you can create a modern estate plan that puts them first.

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