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Four reasons why you don’t want to estate plan on your own

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Estate Planning |

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is putting off estate planning until it’s too late. Procrastinating puts you and your estate at risk, as you may end up incapacitated with your healthcare and financial decisions being left in the hands of someone you don’t trust. Additionally, your assets may wind up with someone you never wanted to inherit in the first place.

While you can create an estate plan that protects your interests and your assets, you have to make sure that you go about the estate planning process correctly. Far too many people think that they can adequately plan on their own by simply turning to online resources and self-help guides, but this can be a risky way to go about addressing your asset distribution.

Why DIY estate planning is dangerous

Creating a will might seem simple enough, and you can certainly find some basic guidance on how to do that online. But navigating the estate planning process on your own is riddled with pitfalls. Here are just some of the more common problems that you might face when you engage in DIY estate planning:

  • Over-simplification: If you turn to the Internet for guidance, you’re probably going to find yourself lured toward more simplistic estate planning options. While creating a simple will might provide you, your family, and your assets with some protection, it might cause you to miss out on opportunities to save money, more fully protect your assets, and create the future that you envision for your family.
  • Lack of legal validity: Many online estate planning documents contain boilerplate language. This language might give you a broad sense of the document’s purpose, but it might not conform to state law. And if your estate planning documents don’t adhere to the law, then they may be deemed legally invalid. This would force your assets to be distributed according to Texas’s intestate succession laws, which might go against what you’d hoped for your assets and your loved ones.
  • Lack of consideration for your unique circumstances: The status of your assets and your family dynamics may require a more intricate estate plan in order to suit your wishes. But DIY resources aren’t going to take your circumstances into account. Therefore, you may miss out on opportunities like those that ensure that your children from another marriage are able to receive an inheritance while still providing for your current spouse.
  • More expensive: You can run into many issues with a do-it-yourself estate plan. This, in the long run, can end up costing you more money. Your estate may have to go through probate, which can take time and money, and your loved ones may be left fighting over your estate when the validity of your estate planning documents are drawn into question. If you have a larger estate, then you might lose out on tax savings, too.

Do it right the first time

These are all risks that you want to avoid. While you might think that thorough estate planning takes a long time and is cumbersome, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you seek out help from a proven estate planning attorney.

One of these legal professionals can advise you of your estate planning options and how to utilize them to fulfill your vision of the future. Then, you can rest assured that your estate plan is legally binding and will stand the test of time. If you’re looking for that kind of support, then please consider reaching out to one of these teams to get the process started.