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DIY Estate Planning Pitfalls

DIY Estate Planning PitfallsDIY Estate Planning

We live in a DIY (Do it Yourself) world. With so much information at our fingertips, we can learn how to fix our dishwasher, build a patio, or learn a new computer software, all for free. Many even use such information to do their own estate planning. However, this can be a dangerous choice. In this article, we will go over some of the dangers of DIY Estate Planning.

One Size Does Not Fit All

There is online and CD-ROM based software that allows you to generate your own will or estate plan – why not check here. However, these are very generic, with a one size fits all estate planning approach in Logan based lawyers for estate planning. But estate planning is something very personal and will differ greatly from person to person. Such software usually offers very basic options and does not account for complex situations such as providing for children from prior marriages or children with special needs.

Also, software cannot learn about your situation the way a person can. It only offers strict questions with restricted answers. It is not made to be flexible and work with your needs. Whereas an attorney or a CLDP can work with you to create your estate plan, offering you basically limitless options. You can also contact Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC – estate planning attorneys

Legally Out-of-Date

Besides lacking options, most software is also out-of-date. Laws are always changing, and software is expensive to update. This can mean that your DIY documents are prepared with out of date provisions. This can wreak havoc for your heirs once you pass, leaving them to deal with an expensive complicated probate.

Such software also tends to lack state-specific provisions. If your Will is missing some of these provisions, it could make it invalid, causing a probate headache.

Executed Incorrectly

Besides problems with software, there is also the potential that you could complete your part incorrectly. Failing to sign in the correct places, or having the document witnessed incorrectly can be a costly mistake. If your Will was executed improperly, it will not be able to go through an informal probate. Instead, it will have to go through a formal probate. What does this mean for you?

An informal probate can still be costly and time-consuming. But there is minimal involvement from the court. The main purpose of an informal probate is to gain approval of a personal representative and then periodically file other documents to show the court that the personal representative is carrying out their duties correctly. On the other hand, a formal probate is more expensive and time-consuming than an informal probate. A formal probate also involves the court and a judge. Your heirs may have to go to several hearings just to prove that the Last Will you left behind was valid. If your Will is validated, they then will have to get a personal representative appointed to liquidate the estate. They will have to file documents with the court to show they are carrying out their duties correctly, and there may be follow-up hearings with the judge to check on the estate.

DIY, Attorney, or CLDP

Now that you are aware of the potential pitfalls of DIY estate planning, you may wonder what your best estate planning option is. DIY Estate planning is not all bad, if you find yourself to have very limited funds, it may be the best choice for you. You will just want to be sure that you are careful to complete the documents in a way that follows all your states laws.

If you do not have as limited of an income and would like help to prepare a complete estate plan, but do not want to pay expensive attorney fees, a Certified Legal Document Preparer may be the best choice for you. A CLDP can help you to prepare a Revocable Living Trust or Last Will and Testament that will cover all your estate planning needs.

If you have a complicated estate plan and need legal advice, you will want to meet with an estate planning attorney. They will be able to give you advice on what you need to do to solve potential problems and prepare documents to execute a successful estate plan.
Do not leave your estate plan up in the air! The sooner you have one in place the better. If you have questions or want to learn more, contact us by clicking here.

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