If you are starting to work on your estate plan now, one of the things you might have looked into is using a DIY kit to do so. These kits can be helpful in some ways, such as by giving you an idea of what you need to start gathering in terms of documents or information, but they’re not perfect. They can be misleading or have incorrect information. Some don’t inform you that you need witnesses or notary stamps to legitimize the documents, either.
So, while a DIY estate planning process could be helpful in preparing you for estate planning, it’s usually not the best option when you’re ready to make sure your estate plan is legally binding.
What can you do if you have a DIY estate plan already?
If you’ve already put time into creating a DIY estate plan, don’t worry thinking that you’ll have to start over from scratch. Realistically, you will probably have the information you need to begin setting up legal documents with your attorney’s help because you already did the research.
One of the better things to do in this situation is to reach out to your attorney to go over the documents you already set up. Your attorney can let you know if those documents are adequate based on state law or if you need to consider starting over. Even if you have to start over, having the details about what you intended to do can help make the process more efficient.
Why is working with an attorney so important?
Your estate plan dictates how you’ll be treated if you are incapacitated. It goes over who is going to help you as well as how you’re going to pass on your assets.
You want to be sure that these documents are binding and are in your best interests. You also want to know that there will be protections in place to help those you’ve left assets walk away with what you wanted them to have without family conflicts.
DIY estate planning leaves too much to chance. To be certain about what will happen next, you should make sure your estate plans are reviewed by a professional.