Today’s unstable economy has led the way to more DIY estate plans than ever before. If you’re unsure whether or not you need an estate planning attorney, you may be researching how to create an estate plan yourself. DIY estate plans online and computer software cost less than a quarter of the price of an attorney, but they could cost you ten times more than that when you need your estate plan to take action.
DIY estate plans are known for being abundant in errors. These plans rarely cover the complex issues or address your state’s legal needs. Therefore, before you consider a DIY plan, consider these top three reasons for not using them:
State Laws Vary
DIY estate plans rarely address state laws. Since every state has its own specific estate laws, you need an estate plan that is in accordance with your state’s laws. States often limit:
- Who can be your witness
- Who can serve in fiduciary positions
- Who can serve as your attorney in fact
- What must be observed when signing and filing an estate plan
DIY estate plans don’t address the complex issues that most estates have. For example:
- They don’t address guardianship
- They don’t address previous marriages or new spouses
- They don’t address having property in multiple states
- They don’t address special needs
- They don’t address adding beneficiaries or the death of a beneficiary
- They don’t address problem children or family feuds
Rather than risk a DIY estate plan, consider meeting with an estate planning attorney. An estate planning attorney can ensure your plan is complete so that all of your complex and state-related issues are addressed.