A quick search on the internet will bring up a variety of “do it yourself” estate planning websites. While you might be tempted to use a site like this to make your final plans, you could run into some serious problems.
You could end up leaving out some very important details with your “fill-in-the-blank” estate plan because those DIY sites specialize in “boilerplate” forms that don’t apply to every situation. Such a DIY estate plan may not meet your needs when it really matters, and it will be too late to do anything about that.
The problem with DIY estate planning websites
When it’s time to create an estate plan, most people have only one document in mind, which is a will. However, there is more to estate planning than just creating a will. Many DIY websites have four different forms available. These include:
- A will
- Power of Attorney
- A trust
- Advanced healthcare directive
If you are unfamiliar with any of these forms, you can ask for help via chat – but you don’t really know who you are talking to or if they are correctly advising you.
Another problem with using a DIY estate planning site can occur when you have a unique issue to address. If, for example, you have a lot of debt when you pass away, your assets will be used to pay that off. Thus, your beneficiaries may not receive anything. Experienced legal guidance from a professional can help you build safeguards into your estate plans so that the debt gets paid off and your beneficiaries still receive an inheritance.
When you are ready to do your estate planning, it makes sense to seek guidance from a knowledgeable source. Don’t risk making costly errors by doing it yourself.