Why Estate Planning is not DIY
We often get asked whether a person should just download a will from the internet and fill it out. There are several reasons why this is a bad idea:
- Lack of legal expertise: Wills are legal documents that need to comply with specific legal requirements to be valid. If you are not familiar with the law, you may accidentally leave out important information, include provisions that are not legally enforceable, or just plain do it wrong, which can cause issues down the road.
- Risk of ambiguity: If your will is not written clearly, it may be subject to interpretation or challenge by your beneficiaries or other parties, leading to legal fights down the road.
- Failure to consider all assets and beneficiaries: If you draft your own will, you may overlook important assets or beneficiaries that should be included. This can result in unintended consequences, such as leaving out a child or failing to distribute assets in the way you intended.
- Failure to consider your beneficiary or survivorship designations. If you do not have your beneficiaries correctly named, or your assets are titled incorrectly, you might accidentally defeat your estate plan.
- Lack of objectivity: When drafting a will, it is important to be objective and make decisions based on what is best for your beneficiaries and your estate. Often having someone independent to discuss your goals with will increase the likelihood of a successful estate plan.
Many people are intimidated by the thought of putting together an estate plan. We make it as painless as possible, so please give us a call to see if we can help.