You may be aware of the do-it-yourself wills that are found online with an easy Google search, charging a fee to download a will and fill out a questionnaire. While you may think your circumstances are simple enough to do your own estate planning, be aware of some pitfalls in the system.
It is always wise to go over an estate plan with a qualified lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of probate, tax laws, and other essential estate planning tips. Then, when you cover all your bases, you will be sure to pass down your assets to your loved ones after you pass away.
5 Dangers of DIY Estate Planning
Just having a will is usually not enough to protect your family from probate court. Here is what you can avoid when you seek estate planning services from a trusted lawyer:
1. A Will Is Not Enough
You may give yourself a pat on the back after completing a will. But the fact is that most wills are subject to probate court. A will is not enough of an estate plan to avoid probate and distribute your assets without going to court. Save your loved ones from probate court and the time and costly fees that comes with it by creating a comprehensive estate plan.
2. Estate Plans Require Regular Updates
The one-and-done nature of a DIY estate plan is not how the process works. For example, if you’ve created an estate plan, naming your spouse as a beneficiary, what happens if you divorce or they pass away? An estate plan should be updated with each life change: marriage, birth, death, and divorce.
3. There Are No Checks and Balances
What happens if you forget to check a box on the online questionnaire? Or perhaps you accidentally filled in the wrong beneficiary for the wrong amount? These mistakes can happen, and the trouble with DIY estate planning is that there is no one to review your paperwork and point out common mistakes.
4. The Internet Site Is Not Held Accountable
If the online paperwork does not align with the rules and regulations of your state, the website is not accountable for those discrepancies.
5. Your Estate Plan Is Likely More Complex
While you may think your estate plan is easy to put together, you will quickly find that the process is more complex. Having an experienced lawyer by your side to guide you through the steps is the most efficient and safest way to ensure your wishes will be honored.
You will save money in the long run by meeting with an estate planning lawyer who can help with tax planning and other savings associated with passing on your inheritance. By creating your estate plan with an experienced professional, you can be well-prepared for the unexpected.
Seek Professional Estate Planning Services
It’s not worth it to leave yourself and your family vulnerable to the pitfalls of DIY estate planning. The experts at Shoup Legal are here to help ensure your wishes are honored and your family is protected. You can reach us at (951) 455-4114 or by email at [email protected] to begin planning today for peace of mind tomorrow.