There are a lot of different forms that you can download off the Internet these days. In some cases, the DIY approach can be perfectly useful. However, when it comes to estate planning documents, you may want to take pause.
Indeed, there are websites on the Internet that sell legal documents, and their offerings extend into the realm of estate planning. Their marketing material would have you believe that it is easy to create your own estate planning documents.
In fairness, a document is just that, a document. It is perfectly legal for you to create your own estate planning documents using boilerplate templates that you purchase on the Internet.
However, are you sure that you know what document or documents you should utilize given your family situation? For example, you may assume that you should use a last will to facilitate postmortem asset transfers.
This can work for some people, but for others, it would not be the best choice. If you are looking for asset protection, a last will won’t help. A will would not provide estate tax efficiency, and this is another consideration.
Perhaps you have a spendthrift heir in the family. With a last will, you would be leaving lump sum inheritances to the heirs. You cannot include stipulations regarding measured distributions over time.
Plus, the executor would be required to admit the will to probate after your passing. This process is time-consuming, and probate expenses reduce the amount of the inheritances that the heirs will eventually receive.
There are other estate planning documents that you can use to effectively address the scenarios that we have presented above.
When you are endeavoring to transfer everything that you have been able to accumulate throughout your life to the people that you love the most, you are taking a very big step. Do you really want to go it alone as you follow instructions that you downloaded from a remote website?
There is really no reason to take any chances when there is so much at stake. Any time you engage in a significant property transfer, you would do well to obtain legal counsel.
Free Report on DIY Estate Planning
In this blog post we have provided some basic food for thought. If you would like to obtain a more detailed analysis of do-it-yourself estate planning, download our special report.
This report is free, and you can visit this page to access your copy: DIY Estate Planning Report.
If you would like to put a well constructed estate plan in place, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through our contact page to set up an appointment: Hartford CT Estate Planning Attorneys.