There are many advertisements on the Internet for do-it-yourself estate planning. These ads are certainly tempting because they claim you can get the essentials done on your own for less money. However, do-it-yourself estate planning is generally not going to result in a comprehensive estate plan that meets all your needs. Here’s why.
Estate planning is more than just a will
Often, a do-it-yourself estate plan limits you to a will. While a will is very important, there are other estate planning documents you should execute. For example, you may want to consider a trust in addition to a will for the sake of your heirs. Also, you will want to execute a living will and medical and financial powers of attorney so that your end-of-life wishes are met.
These more nuanced documents are not ones you want to try to execute on your own. You will want the assistance of an attorney to handle the more complex estate planning documents.
State laws on estate planning vary
State laws on estate planning are not the same across the nation. Each state has its own rules on how to legally execute a will and other estate planning documents. And, if you move states after executing your estate plan, you will want to review your documents to ensure they are compliant with the laws in your new state of residence. If you do not follow these laws, your estate plan may be unenforceable.
Seek the help you need
As you can see, estate planning can be a complex process. Most people do not have the knowledge necessary to execute documents that meet their needs and are legally enforceable. Seeking help with estate planning is a good first step to ensuring your loved ones are provided for after your death and your end-of-life wishes will be met.