Is DIY estate planning worth the risks?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2017 | Estate Planning, Firm News

Recently, you may have begun thinking more seriously about creating an estate plan. This desire may have stemmed from the recent birth of a child, a milestone birthday, the death of a loved one or numerous other factors. No matter the reason, creating this type of plan could help you get your affairs in order well before your passing.

As you explore you planning options, you may consider taking a do-it-yourself approach to your plan. While this certainly is a feasible route to follow, it may not be in your best interests to do so. Before deciding to dive straight in with a DIY estate plan, you may wish to look at the potential issues that could come about with trying to plan on your own.

Mistakes could take place

Because you likely do not have professional knowledge regarding estate planning, you may find yourself relying on the information provided on DIY planning websites or forms. Though you may think that you have the ability to follow the instructions well, the information provided may not give you answers to all the questions you could have during the planning process. As a result, you could attempt to simply wing it, but not fully understanding your decisions could result in a wide margin for error.

Changes in law

In order to create a valid and enforceable estate plan, your plan must meet certain criteria as dictated under estate planning law. If you do not understand the laws or if the laws change, your plan could easily become rendered invalid. As a result, your surviving family could find themselves struggling to deal with an estate that must follow North Carolina intestate distribution laws. This situation could arise because an invalid will works just the same as if you had not created a will at all.

Estate complications

If your estate has certain factors that may require planning that goes beyond simple and basic tools, DIY options may not provide you with those tools. In fact, without proper insight from a knowledgeable professional, you may not even know that your estate could benefit from utilizing a more detailed plan. Therefore, you may wish to consider gaining reliable information on your specific estate planning options.

If you do not know where to begin planning, enlisting the assistance of an attorney may prove useful. This legal professional could review your case, advise you of your options and help ensure that your plan meets necessary criteria.