The internet can at times be a great source of knowledge and a helpful tool when you need information, have a question, or are interested in a topic. With technological advances over the years, many companies have found a way to offer online estate planning. Through these programs, you can create your will and other documents for a lower price than visiting an attorney. While it may seem like an inexpensive and convenient way to do your planning, there are many ways that it could go wrong. In this blog, we will explain the risks you take when doing estate planning on your own.
The planning process must follow state laws. Some websites offer general template-based estate planning, but if your plan does not adhere to the state laws where you live then the plan may be invalid. Estate planning attorneys within your state are well-educated on the laws and how to make sure that your plan follows them.
An increased risk of family disagreements is another risk you take when doing estate planning on your own. By making your own plan, directions may seem unclear, cause confusion, and lack the protection needed to take care of your family. This increases the chances that your family will have to go through the probate process and potentially fight over assets or instructions. At our firm, not only will we make sure that your plan gets carried out properly when you pass away, but we also offer family care meetings to make sure that your loved ones are aware of the plan and what it involves. By having our team sit in on the meeting, we will be able to help you facilitate this conversation in a way that is clear and reduces conflict.
Lastly, a risk you take when having a DIY estate plan is not accounting for any special circumstances in your plan that are needed for your family. Many of the estate plans that you draft on your own have the approach of trying to cover as much as possible in as few documents as possible. This is particularly dangerous if you have children or family members that need special care, since they may not get the specialization that they would if an attorney personally drafted a unique estate plan designed to care for your loved ones.
Looking to get started on your estate plan? We are happy to help! Give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation.