DO I NEED AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY?
July 18, 2013
When it's time to create an estate plan, you might feel confident in your own skills to draft a DIY estate plan. After all, you can find just about anything on the internet, including estate planning documents and how-to guides. While it is obviously cheaper to go this route, you may want to think twice before creating your own estate plan. For some common reasons why DIY estate plans fail, read below.
State Laws Vary
DIY estate planning sites and documents rarely address the unique laws for every state. This is because they offer a one-size-fits-all approach. They use very general terms and don't address any specific state laws regarding guardianship, joint ownership, inheritance, and even taxes. If your estate plan doesn't follow state law, you'll have an issue when your estate goes through probate court and your estate will be in the hands of the court.
Complex Family Issues are Ignored
DIY estate plans are very basic. They rarely address any complex family issues that can affect your estate. When you hire an estate planning attorney they can address these complex issues, such as:
· If you're in a second marriage
· If you own a business
· If you own real estate in multiple states
· If you have a family member with special needs
· If you have children under the legal age
· If you don't have children
· If you have a large retirement account or investment account
· If you have a taxable estate
· If you have been divorced
These issues must be addressed by an estate planning attorney. If your estate plan is inaccurate or inadequate, you could cost your estate and loved ones twice as much as an estate planning attorney would have cost in the first place.