Why You Should Never DIY Estate Planning

DIY Estate Planning

Please, we beg of you:  Don’t go the do-it-yourself route.

There are many internet sites, television and radio ads telling us how easy it is to write your own Will.  You may have even heard a family member talk about a hand-written Will, but they don’t tell you about the dangers. There are several things you may be able to do on your own, without the assistance of an attorney, but you shouldn’t take that chance. If you do, you could be gambling with your legacy.

Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t attempt to DIY Estate Planning:

Missing Formalities

Several key elements should be present in your Estate Planning paperwork. Do you know what those key things are? If you don’t, then you could miss several of the specific formalities that must be followed. Not only are the demands from your state, but several federal requirements are also expected. If you miss any of these requirements, or even just address them incorrectly, your entire Estate Plan could be rendered invalid.

No Legal Support

If you attempt to DIY your Estate Plan, you won’t have the support of a competent and experienced attorney on your side. When it comes time to make decisions regarding your Living Will, Medical Directives, and other important documents, you’ll be on your own—and while that may be what you planned for, it’s not at all a good thing.

Google can only get you so far. With an attorney on your side, you can be sure your Estate Plan is personalized to your specific needs and not a form Will that anyone with internet access can download. Even more importantly, you can be sure that all the important boxes are checked, all the necessary documents are present, and that you’ve performed all tasks satisfactorily.

Incorrect Language

The language you use when creating your Estate Plan documents is very important. If you’re too specific, you could hinder your executor’s ability to handle your estate. If you’re vague, you could open up your express wishes to interpretation you never planned for. That’s how families are torn apart by infighting and legal battles.

Please, don’t try to write your own Estate Plan. It isn’t as simple as those do-it-yourself places make it out to be. Yes, a handwritten Will on a napkin is legal in many states, but if you don’t know the requirements for a valid Will, you are opening a big can of worms.

Hire a qualified attorney and rest assured that your documents are thorough and correct.  The cost of an attorney is much less than the cost associated with correcting a mistake after you are gone. And peace of mind? That’s priceless.

Tessmer Law Firm, P.L.L.C. can assist you with a complete Estate Plan suited to your individual needs. Contact us today for a consultation at 210-368-9708. Remember, we are your San Antonio attorneys putting families first!

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