People have many options today for creating their own estate planning documents. Forms can be purchased quickly from websites and books. However, trying to create your own estate plan can actually be more expensive than hiring an attorney.
Everyone wants to save money and sometimes doing things yourself, rather than hiring an expert, can be a good way to save. For instance, mowing your lawn may not be fun, but it's not particularly difficult and doing it yourself could save money. Even if you make a mistake there is no worry, the grass will likely grow back in a few weeks! On the other hand, few of us would sign up for a do-it-yourself course on performing your own root canal. Other choices might not be quite so obvious such as your estate plan. Forms are available for downloading online that promise buyers they just need to read the instructions and fill in the blanks to create their own wills and trusts.
One major problem with these services is when estate planning is not done properly it is much more expensive to fix things than it would have been to hire an attorney to do things right in the first place.
Recently, the Record-Bee published a story with some examples of what has gone wrong with these downloadable estate plans. The article is appropriately titled "Your Legacy and Peace of Mind: The pitfalls of do-it-yourself estate planning."
If you are considering making your own estate plan, take some time to read the stories in the article. Hopefully, that will inspire you to go ahead and visit an estate planning attorney to make sure that you do not make mistakes doing things on your own.
You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.
Reference: Record-Bee (January 20, 2015) "Your Legacy and Peace of Mind: The pitfalls of do-it-yourself estate planning."