Justice Barbara Pariente Speak On E-Z Legal Form

Court Calls Use of “E-Z Legal Form” to be “Penny-wise, Pound Foolish” A decedent chose to use an “E-Z Legal Form” for a will and it resulted in a portion of the estate going to two nieces not named in the will. The form lacked a residuary clause – a provision for estate distribution not expressly designated in the will.

Justice Barbara Pariente stated:

“While I appreciate that there are many individuals in this state who might have difficulty affording a lawyer, this case does remind me of the old adage “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

“I therefore take this opportunity to highlight a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of utilizing pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance. As this case illustrates, that decision can ultimately result in the frustration of the testator’s intent, in addition to the payment of extensive attorney’s fees the precise results the testator sought to avoid in the first place.”

The opinion is located here.