Today’s society is all about “doing it yourself”, from building your own backyard deck to writing your own Will.
And while many of these projects are great to try on your own, estate planning isn’t one of them. Estate planning can be very complex, and for this reason you will want to hire an expert attorney to help you with the process. Someone that is experienced in estate planning can help you through the process so that your estate plan is solid, and will actually do what it is suppose to do for you, and your loved ones when the time comes.
One of the most important elements of an estate plan is the Will and a do-it-yourself version can actually create more confusion than it’s worth. All it takes is a single misplaced word, or ignoring certain formalities when you sign this document, and your document stands a good chance of being challenged.
When certain documents are in doubt it can invalidate an entire estate plan, and this can jeopardize everything you’ve worked for, including your final wishes. Another reason writing your own it is a bad idea is that estate laws can be very complicated. And if your estate plan doesn’t comply with current law when you pass away, the court will declare it to be invalid.
An estate planning attorney on the other hand, knows all about those changing laws and they can also help you choose the right documents for you. While a Will is certainly a good place to start for example, your estate might be better served with a Living Trust. Do you have disabled dependents to provide for? A family pet that you want to protect after you’re gone?
All these issues should be addressed in your estate plan and with a good attorney, you can do just that.