If you’re a confirmed do-it-yourselfer, you’ve probably completed many DIY projects for your home and yard. After all, why hire a professional to paint your living room when you can do an adequate job yourself? While home improvement projects are ripe with DIY opportunities, not all areas of your life are equally amenable to the DIY approach.
Take estate planning, for example. Do you have the necessary legal knowledge to correctly prepare, execute and coordinate your estate planning documents? If you think you do, you might want to consider the following question: Why are lawyers required to obtain first a college degree, then a law degree, and then pass their state’s bar exam in order to offer estate planning services to their clients?
Possible DIY Advantages
The three most common reasons people give for taking the DIY approach to estate planning are:
- It saves money.
- It saves time.
- It’s convenient.
Definite DIY Disadvantages
The problem with taking the DIY approach is that when you attempt to create a DIY estate plan, you’re gambling with not only your life’s legacy, but also with your family’s future financial well-being.
To be more specific, DIY estate planning fails in the following respects:
- It doesn’t answer any questions you may have about what documents to create and how to create them.
- It doesn’t guarantee that your documents will comply with federal or state laws.
- It doesn’t stay up to date with the changing laws.
- It doesn’t provide solutions or language specific to you, your situation, your needs or your goals.
- It can have lasting negative consequences for you, your family and heirs.
For instance, if you inadvertently make a mistake, no one, including you, is likely to catch this error until it’s too late to do anything about it. Why? Because estate planning errors usually don’t come to light until after the person who made them has died. As a result, the heirs face high legal and court costs, plus considerable time and energy to correct the error, assuming it actually can be corrected.
Furthermore, if the language in one of your estate planning documents conflicts with the language in another, your entire estate plan may not work the way you intended it to.
Although it may be tempting to download one of those inexpensive online one-size-fits-all, fill-in-the-blanks wills or trusts and just go with it, you’re playing with fire if you do. Such documents are filled with boilerplate, i.e., general legalese that may or may not have anything to do with what you want and need or comply with your state’s estate planning laws.
The Right Estate Plan For You
We at AmeriEstate Legal Plan, Inc. are a nationwide network of licensed, experienced and vetted estate planning attorneys who know the law and how to apply it.
Your AmeriEstate membership includes all of the following:
- Access to an experienced estate planning attorney who will work with you one-on-one to create the personalized estate plan you need
- Annual review of any living trust you create through AmeriEstate
- Complimentary simple amendments to your trusts
- Guidance for your family and heirs regarding your estate plan and how it works
Bottom line, our legal professionals are fully prepared to be your personal estate planning legal services resource.
Contact us today to learn more. We’ll be happy to answer your estate planning questions and start you on your way to achieving your own personalized estate plan.