It may seem easy to dismiss arguments from attorneys advocating against using Do-It-Yourself (DIY) resources on the computer to draft your will. After all, for many attorneys, drafting estate planning documents is their livelihood. However, an article from Forbes has highlighted many of the warnings you will hear from attorneys against drafting your own will.
The main argument in the article against DIY estate planning is that mistakes can be costly. Filling out an online will blueprint may seem like a simple fill in the blank process – many may falsely believe that you cannot make mistakes on this simple platform. However, few estates are simple enough to be accurately planned using a fill in the blank platform. For example, a fill-in-the-blank will may not warn you that designating a child as an heir could have an effect on their government benefits. Estate planning attorneys can make recommendations for your specific situation such as setting up a special needs trust for your disabled child. DIY estate plans often won’t recommend this, or many other estate planning techniques slightly more complicated that a regular will.
As pointed out by Forbes, you spend your entire life adding to your estate. Let’s say that the value of your estate is $250,000.00, it seems reasonable to invest $1,000.00, less than about 1% of your estate, into quality planning. Furthermore, it seems silly to trust a $50.00 document to properly administer your estate and if issues arise, your loved ones will be left to take care of the mess. So, if wanting your estate distributed properly is not enough motivation for you to seek expect assistance, perhaps preventing a legal headache for your family will be.