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Pitfalls Of DIY Estate Planning: Why You Need An Attorney  

Moses Estate Planning, PLLC Aug. 12, 2022

While it may be tempting to use DIY estate planning tools to save some money, doing so carries some risks and pitfalls. Estate planning requires careful consideration of a number of factors and in-depth knowledge of state laws.   

That is why seeking legal counsel is the best option for most people. With a DIY estate plan, costly mistakes are likely to happen. Conversely, an attorney will act as your guide throughout the process and ensure that your estate plan accomplishes your goals.  

At Moses Estate Planning, PLLC, our estate planning attorney serves individuals and families in Los Angeles, California, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We help clients in all aspects of estate planning throughout Kootenai County, Idaho. 

Why Estate Planning Is Important 

Planning for the inevitable changes in life is never easy. However, having a comprehensive estate plan is vital for everyone. Estate planning can address your particular needs and goals, especially if you create an estate plan with the help of a skilled estate planning attorney. Some of the reasons why it is essential to have an estate plan include:  

  • You can simplify or avoid probate  

  • You can protect yourself and your assets in the event of incapacity  

  • You can make sure that your assets are distributed how you wish  

  • You can minimize taxes  

  • You can name a person who would serve as a guardian for your minor children  

  • You can ease the strain on your loved ones  

  • You can choose the person you trust to handle your affairs in the event of your incapacity  

  • You can make your wishes known to those you care about  

If you are considering creating an estate plan but do not know how to start, contact an attorney to discuss your particular situation. An attorney can help you design an estate plan that is right for you and your circumstances. 

Online Forms vs. Estate Planning Attorney 

For many people, it is difficult to decide between using online forms and hiring an attorney when creating an estate plan. Let’s look at some of the common pitfalls of DIY estate planning to help you make the right decision before it is too late:  

  1. Online forms do not account for state-specific nuances. Typically, DIY estate planning forms are one-size-fits-all solutions that do not conform to state laws. As a result, you may end up creating an estate plan that is not valid in your state. An attorney, on the other hand, understands the laws surrounding estate planning in your state and can help you create a plan in compliance with all applicable state laws.  

  1. It can be difficult to modify a DIY estate plan. It is not uncommon for people to modify their estate plans whenever there is a change in circumstances or preferences. Trying to modify a DIY online form can be complicated because you have to change the entire estate plan. When you seek legal counsel, you can make sure that your estate plan remains valid even if you decide to modify it later on.  

  1. You cannot get proper legal advice when creating a DIY estate plan. When using online forms to create a DIY estate plan, you are not getting any legal guidance to understand your options. Many people who use online forms are missing out on proper legal advice. As a result, they may end up making costly mistakes or using the wrong tools.    

  1. Disputes are more likely to arise when using online forms. With DIY estate planning, there is a higher likelihood of disputes because the plan may not meet the state-specific requirements or may contain ambiguous or unclear language. When you create an estate plan with the help of an experienced attorney, you can address and prevent any issues or disputes that may arise later on.  

  1. You are not getting a customized plan with DIY planning. Online forms for DIY estate planning provide one-size-fits-all arrangements. There are many factors that come into play when establishing an estate plan. That is why you need an attorney to help you create a customized plan that works for you and your unique situation.  

Establishing an estate plan is not easy because it requires strategic planning and a lot of legal paperwork. At Moses Estate Planning, PLLC, our estate planning attorneys devote personal attention to every client and dedicate our time and resources to help clients develop comprehensive plans tailored to their specific needs and goals. You need an attorney to give you and your family peace of mind knowing that your estate plan is valid and everything is in order.    

Experience the Difference with Moses Estate Planning, PLLC 

There are many potential mistakes people make when creating DIY estate plans. That is why having an attorney is crucial to ensure that your plan is executed exactly the way you intend. At Moses Estate Planning, PLLC, we understand the importance of developing customized estate plans tailored to the specific needs of every client. Reach out to our estate planning attorneys in Los Angeles, California, or Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to discuss your case.