Reasons Why You Should Never DIY Your Estate Plan
With a quick Google search you will find a plethora of DIY estate planning documents and services.
Are these documents worth the “saved” money and time? Definitely not.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about a good DIY project. That said, for a matter as complex and important as estate planning, you should never do it yourself. In fact, DIY estate plans make for legal horror stories as they often expose your heirs to serious and expensive legal problems down the road, leaving your loves ones stuck with whatever mess you have created.
So, what makes these DIY estate plans SO bad?
These online estate plans are designed to meet basic needs, and not consider each person’s unique situation and needs. People come to me all the time for a “simple will,” but then list off their circumstances (minor children, no children, second marriage, homestead property, etc.), which are anything but simple. Additionally, these DIY estate plans commonly fail to meet specific requirements or legal formalities for state and federal laws, making them invalid. Estate planning is FULL of many intricacies and moving pieces that require a great deal of know-how to get right. While some believe that their Google research may be efficient – you don’t know what you don’t know, and with estate planning, you may not find out until it is too late. Without having any experienced legal professional involved, people will end up missing important guidance pertaining the best options for their personal situation. Ultimately, when you decide to create an estate plan, it’s because you want that peace of mind that your legacy is protected. With a matter of this magnitude, it is necessary to engage a legal professional to give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be honored and not invalidated through an improper document. For something as important as your estate, why leave it up to fate?