Online tools and books offer estate planning resources to create a will, powers of attorney, executor and more without the help of a lawyer. But, this “one size fits all” marketing approach doesn’t compare to the professional advice that an attorney can individually tailor to meet each client’s specific needs.
Here are a few ways that devising your own estate planning documents — without the help of a lawyer — can create a false sense of security.
Families with different financial situations may have different investment options. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you prepare state and federal estate taxes, account for long-term care and settle debts in a fashion that works best for you and your unique situation.
Is something missing?
It’s important that the decisions you make in your will are very detailed. Keep in mind that these decisions will affect your family after you are no longer available to cover missed information or clarify your intentions. However, without a lawyer helping to ensure that all of the necessary factors in a will have been converted, you’re more than likely not to realize when something has been missed.
Seemingly straight forward clauses can become complicated if you know how certain laws may come into contradiction with one another. Having an educated professional by your side can help you understand how your estate plan will ensure that you don’t make any mistakes for lack of full understanding a condition.
Many estate planning documents should be updated every three to five years in case your wishes have changed or circumstances have changed the feasibility of your wishes. It may be easy for those who use online tools to create a will to check the item off their list. However, a lawyer would advise that revisiting your will is vital to ensure that security.
Business owners, parents and those with special-needs relatives are just a few examples of personas that are likely to require special consideration in their estate plan. Lawyers who are familiar with how the law handles these complex dealings can offer advice and alternatives that tools cannot.
Lawyers can help you understand the ramifications that your decisions could have. This is likely to help you avoid unnecessary taxation consequences of investment decisions.
If you are interested in beginning your estate plan, but don’t know where to start, your first course of action should be to contact an attorney for professional advice you can rely on to keep your assets and your family reliably secure.