DIY estate planning can be alluring to those who falsely believe they can save money and time by drafting their own estate plan, without engaging the help of an attorney.
In many instances, “doing it yourself” makes sense, however, estate planning isn’t one of those instances There are too many risks associated with it. A mistake or failure to consider the implications of your decisions could cost you and/or your loved ones time and/or money, all of which could be very serious.
Here are some of the most important reasons why you should avoid DIY estate planning:
- POOR DECISIONS: Estate planning is all about knowing your options and making the best possible decisions based on your personal circumstances, preferences, and goals. However, if you don’t have a sound understanding of estate planning, you’re more likely to make poor, uniformed decisions. An experienced attorney knows what questions to ask to help identify your needs and determine the best options for you and your family.
- YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW: There’s more to estate planning than knowing what you want to accomplish. State and Federal law dictate what you can and cannot do and those laws change over time. Failure to comply with these laws can impact the validity of your estate plan. It is also important to recognize the tax implications associated with your plan, which is a job best left to an attorney who knows you, your needs, and the law.
- You’re likely to run into many questions as you move through the estate planning process. Should you use a will or trust? Do you need a durable power of attorney? What does long-term care planning entail? An experienced attorney can answer your questions and raise options you may not have ever considered.
DIY estate planning is more available today than ever before. A quick online search will turn up several options and a lot of information, not all of which is going to be factual, reliable, up to date, or specific to your state. This flurry of information can be overwhelming, conflicting, and difficult to digest. We often see problematic situations that result in costly and time-consuming litigation due to DIY estate plans. It’s best to work with a skilled professional.
If you’re ready to create a comprehensive estate plan with the help of a legal professional, contact our law firm to set up a consultation. We’ll guide you through the process from start to finish.