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DIY Estate Planning Can Lead to Major Mistakes

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysIf you have started looking into creating an estate plan, you may have come across advertisements for do-it-yourself estate planning or will creation services. At first glance, these services often look very appealing. The advertisement may claim that creating an estate plan through the DIY program will save you time and money. It may even explicitly state that you do not need a lawyer to create an estate plan. Unfortunately, these advertisements lead many people to make estate planning mistakes that end up costing them (or their surviving loved ones) much more time, money, and frustration than they would have spent through traditional estate planning.

Only a Lawyer Can Offer Personalized Estate Planning Legal Guidance

One of the major limitations to online DIY estate planning is that it is a one-size-fits-all approach to drafting an estate plan. There may be several basic documents available such as a will, healthcare power of attorney, and financial power of attorney available through a DIY site, but not lesser-known estate planning instruments. Unlike a website, an estate planning attorney can help you figure out which documents will best fit your needs and which documents you can do without.

Consider this example: A mother with a severely disabled teenaged son is worried about how her son will have access to a home health aide and other necessities once she passes away. She creates a will using a DIY website and assigns her son a significant amount of inheritance money. Unfortunately, when she passes away, the money that was left to her son causes his assets to be too high for him to continue benefiting from government aid programs. If the mother had consulted with an estate planning attorney, the attorney could have helped her set up a special needs trust or another estate planning instrument that would allow her son to receive his inheritance without losing access to necessary government aid.

The Value of Peace of Mind

Many DIY estate planning websites and software are attractive to potential customers because of the low price. Although there are often hidden fees and added expenses for more specific estate planning needs, it may be true that using a DIY estate planning service is cheaper than working extensively with a professional. Unfortunately, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Without sitting down and getting personalized estate planning advice, you will never know for sure whether you could have found estate planning options better fit your needs, provided for heirs, or saved on taxes. Even more importantly, you will not know for sure if your estate plans are even legally enforceable.

Contact a Lombard Estate Planning Lawyer

If you are ready to get personalized legal guidance from an estate planning attorney who will take the time to get to know you and your unique needs, contact A. Traub & Associates. Schedule a consultation with an experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney by calling us at 630-426-0196 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2019/03/29/the-problems-with-do-it-yourself-online-wills/

https://smartasset.com/taxes/the-dangers-of-diy-estate-planning


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