In most cases, there is nothing wrong with doing things for yourself to save money. In addition, a lot of people simply enjoy DIY projects, and the financial part of the equation is irrelevant. However, there are endeavors that are not well suited to the do-it-yourselfers, and estate planning is one of them.
Downloads and Worksheets
There are many different websites out there that sell downloads and worksheets that can be used to create legal documents, including DIY wills. Is it possible to take the matter into your own hands and create a legally binding simple will? In fairness, the answer is yes, it is possible.
Technically, you do not have to be an attorney to execute a will or any other legal document. At the same time, you can try to fix your plumbing yourself even if you are not a licensed plumber. If you do not know what you’re doing, the effort can do much more harm than good. This also applies to the estate planning realm.
As a case in point, three prominent legal professors that were engaged by Consumer Reports examined wills that were created using DIY tools that were provided by three different websites. They found flaws, and Consumer Reports advised against DIY wills unless the situation is extremely simple. The stakes are high, and there is no good reason to take any chances.
Lack of Information
Do it yourself estate planning by a layperson is like playing golf with one club. There is no one-size-fits-all club that will be right for every shot, so you would be at a severe disadvantage. The same logic can be applied to the idea that a simple will is the right asset transfer vehicle under all circumstances.
As a layperson, you are simply not going to be aware of the different trusts that can be used and why you may want to use one instead of another. In fact, in some cases, it is best to transfer assets to multiple family members using different methods.
Do you know if you will be exposed to federal and/or state estate taxes? Do you have an understanding of the probate process? Do you know what happens if you become unable to handle your own affairs late in your life due to cognitive impairment? Do you know that Medicare will not cover nursing home care?
A lot can go wrong if you make overly simplistic assumptions about estate planning.
Attend a Complimentary Seminar!
You found your way to this site because you want to learn more about estate planning, and you are making the right connection. We have a treasure trove of information that you can access on this website on a complimentary basis.
In addition to the written materials, we go the extra mile in another way. Our attorneys offer estate planning seminars at comfortable locations throughout our service areas. They are being offered on a complimentary basis, and you can click here to get all the details.
Need Help Now?
If you have already come to the conclusion that you should work with a Glastonbury, Westport, or Hartford, CT estate planning lawyer to put a plan in place, our doors are open.
We know that the thought of sharing personal information with someone you have just met can be disconcerting. When you work with us, you will find that we treat clients the way that we would want to be treated if we were on the other side of the interaction.
You will feel comfortable from the start, and we will listen carefully as you explain your objectives. At the end of the process, you will walk away with a custom crafted estate plan that is ideal for you and your family.
Our office can be reached at 860-548-1000 if you are ready to get started, and you can alternately send us a message through our contact page.