The internet has opened many doors for do-it-yourself estate planning. From generic wills and generic legal advice, the internet can lead well-intentioned people into a trap of very bad estate planning. These mistakes can end up costing you and your loved ones thousands of dollars.
In an article on Forbes.com, a lawyer from Virginia describes the consequences of a client who tried to set up their own living trust.
The client set up their own trust in 1984 using a three page form from an office supply store. He then recorded a deed to transfer the home into the trust, mistakenly dating the deed in 1983 – a year before he set up the trust.
Years later, he tried to take out a loan after paying off the mortgage on the house to help his daughter pay off her mortgage. However, the title company couldn’t find a clear chain of title to his home so the bank refused to give him a loan.
Fixing this mess cost about $2,000 in legal fees, twice what it would have cost to have a law firm properly set up a trust and transfer the home into the trust in 1984.
When it comes to do-it-yourself estate planning, mistakes can be very costly. An experienced estate planning attorney can ensure you’re your estate planning is done right the first time.