When people start the estate planning process, online resources and self-help guides often seem like a straightforward way to complete this task. However, creating your own estate planning documents can come with many risks, and errors made during the planning process can have serious consequences.
Thankfully, do-it-yourself estate plans are not the only option available to you. Working with an experienced attorney can help you avoid common missteps and create a comprehensive plan. How might you benefit from seeking legal guidance while creating your estate plan?
An attorney knows the requirements for a valid will and other estate planning documents.
The requirements for valid estate planning documents depend on the documents you use and where you live. Templates may not conform to your state’s requirements, and online resources may not offer the details you need. Without valid estate planning documents, the court will decide what happens with your property.
An attorney with experience in estate planning can offer insights into the statutes in your state and thoroughly review your documents to ensure that they meet these requirements. As a result, you can have greater confidence that your documents are sound.
An attorney knows the estate planning options available to you.
When you create your own estate plan, you are often limited by your own knowledge. You may not know all the documents you can use in your estate plan or how to use those documents effectively. For example, you may be most familiar with wills used in estate plans, but you might overlook other documents that better fit your unique situation.
When you speak to an attorney about your estate plan, however, you can focus on the goals you want to achieve and your specific life circumstances. Your attorney can help you select the documents that can help you achieve those goals. They can also help you identify potential issues and prepare accordingly.
The law does not require you to work with an attorney to create your estate plan. However, working with an experienced attorney can help you face the estate planning process and the future with greater confidence.