Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Dangers of DIY Estate Planning

The importance of estate planning cannot be overstated. While it is most prominently known as a plan for how you wish your assets to be distributed to the appropriate heirs after you pass away, there is so much more to it. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can select a guardian for your children should you pass away when they are still minors. You can put protections in place should you become incapacitated and be unable to communicate your health care preferences that will help ensure that your wishes are still honored. You can select trusted individuals to take on certain roles of responsibility without court intervention.

While you may be aware of how important estate planning is, it still may fall down the priority list as you work to manage a constantly demanding day-to-day schedule. In lieu of meeting with an attorney to develop a strong, comprehensive estate plan tailored to your unique needs and goals, you may consider just getting it over with and putting something in place from a DIY estate planning website. Here, we will discuss why it may be better to have no estate plan rather than a DIY estate plan gone wrong and why it may be best to have your estate plan crafted by a knowledgeable, experienced estate planning attorney.

Dangers of DIY Estate Planning

There is no one size fits all in estate planning. Everyone is unique and everyone’s circumstances can vary so much that it is impossible for this to be accurately encapsulated into a form estate plan that you need only fill in the blanks. Even the laws pertaining to estate planning vary from state to state. Should you engage in DIY estate planning, you run the risk of falling out of compliance with state laws. You may not properly observe the legal formalities your state requires in properly executing a valid will. You may not know the laws pertaining to the contents of an estate plan and, while parts of your plan may still be valid, these laws may essentially invalidated key parts of your plan.

There is also the discussion and guidance that is lost when you DIY an estate plan as opposed to engaging the services of a dedicated estate planning attorney. For instance, an attorney can counsel you on when you should consider updating your estate plan. Are you expecting a new child in the family? Has there been a divorce? Is there a new marriage on the horizon? An estate planning attorney can discuss how you may want to update your estate plan in the event of these major life moments coming along. Furthermore, an estate planning attorney can discuss potential changes in the law on the horizon that may merit updating your estate plan at a later time.

An estate planning attorney can also counsel you on managing family dynamics in your estate plan and outside of it. A DIY estate planning service is not going to do you this courtesy and it is a big one. Managing family expectations can help avoid costly and time-consuming legal battles later on.

Estate Planning Attorneys

For the development of a solid estate plan that you can count on, talk to the trusted team of estate planning attorneys at Hyden, Miron & Foster has answers. Contact us today.

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