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  • Writer's pictureWendi Gundersen

The Problem With DIY Estate Plans

I was perusing a legal-forms website today just to see what it had. While there, I read one of the posts written to help a person decide between a will and a living trust. The post appeared helpful, but it was really no help at all. 

The problem with using online legal forms or forms from the office-supply store is that you are probably doing it without the advice and guidance of an attorney. Preparing an estate plan, even a basic estate plan, requires that the documents be properly drafted, the documents be properly signed with the correct formalities, and the proper steps are taken once the plan is in place. 

Preparing your estate plan without the advice of an attorney can leave your loved ones vulnerable. You might make a mistake and not know it. In fact, the mistake might not be discovered until it is too late. Once you are gone, no one can ask you what you really wanted. 

What if you did not prepare your will correctly, and it is invalid? Then your loved ones might not receive the property you wanted them to receive. 

What if you did not create the right trust? Your estate might not benefit from the tax advantages you thought it would. 

What if you did not fund your trust with the right assets or you did not fund it at all? Then all of your effort was for naught. 

These issues can be avoided with the advice of a competent estate-planning attorney. Why spend hours researching these legal issues to do it yourself and still make a mistake? A competent attorney can ensure everything is done correctly and the way you want. 



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