You’ve probably come across ads for do-it-yourself wills and estate plans on the internet. While these ads point you to documents and information that might apply to someone in your circumstances, the reality is that these documents may not be the right ones for your state or could be inadequate for helping you protect your interests.
Many people say that they want to complete their own estate plans because they believe that it will be too expensive to see an attorney. That’s not really true, though, because if the documents are incomplete or there are mistakes that were made, they may not be legally binding at the time of your death. You may also miss out on important options that would have allowed you to reduce your taxes or protect your assets from creditors.
Do-it-yourself options can work, but you need to review them
If you must use a do-it-yourself kit for your will, trust or other parts of your estate plan, make sure that you go over that plan with someone with legal knowledge. You may save some time by filling out the documents on your own, so if that’s something that you are concerned about, consider filling out the documents before taking them with you to see your attorney.
An attorney’s job is to make sure that you’ve taken advantage of all the benefits that estate planning can provide to you. They will be able to discuss options that may not have been presented to you and update you on the most current laws and regulations, too.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be costly
Estate planning doesn’t need to cost much all at once. If cost is a concern, consider taking the steps to create your basic will and trust first. Go over your necessary estate documents, like a living will and last will and testament. You may not need all parts of an estate plan right away, but you can always add additional documents on later. Breaking down the estate plan into parts can help it become more affordable and easier to manage, which is something to consider.