When you surf the Internet at this point, you are constantly being inundated with sales pitches of sorts that are in line with your search tendencies. If you have been looking into legal matters, you will probably see ads for websites that sell do-it-yourself legal documents, including estate planning devices.
Any serious minded person would naturally take pause before buying into the concept of do-it-yourself estate planning. After all, when you plan your estate, you are arranging for the distribution of everything that you have accumulated to the people that you love the most. This is a rather significant act, and you probably shouldn’t leave anything to chance.
It would be natural to expect an estate planning law firm to advise against do-it-yourself estate planning. However, a purely objective study was done back in 2012. Consumer Reports has been around for a long time. They have earned a lot of respect for their objective analyses of various different products and services.
The people at Consumer Reports wanted to find out if do-it-yourself estate planning was effective. Staff members obtained downloads and worksheets from three of the most prominent purveyors of legal documents. They proceeded to create three different last wills using these generic, boilerplate documents.
The next step was to bring in experts to examine the last wills that were created. Consumer Reports engaged three prominent legal educators, and they put the last wills under the microscope.
These professors found flaws, and they said that unintended negative consequences could come about if you use fill-in-the-blanks documents to plan your estate. In the end, Consumer Reports advised readers to steer clear of do-it-yourself estate planning notions.
Choosing the Right Documents
As you can see from this study, a DIY last will may not be a good idea. However, there is another facet to take into consideration. A last will is not the only legal device that can serve as the centerpiece of your estate plan.
There are various different types of trusts that can be utilized, and in many cases, a trust of some kind will be a better choice. As a layperson, you are probably not aware of all of your options. If you want to preserve your resources and provide for each of your loved ones appropriately, you should act in a fully informed manner.
Take the First Step
Our firm can help if you would like to gain an understanding of the estate planning process. We take our relationships with our clients to heart, and we treat people the way that we like to be treated.
If you would like to discuss your unique personal situation with a licensed professional, send us a message through this page to set up a consultation: Burlington VT Estate Planning Attorneys.
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