In the coming months, things are still looking uncertain. It seems it will be quite a while until life gets “back to normal” after the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a long road ahead. For many of us, this uncertainty about the future makes commitments and expenditures seem unwise. We are looking for every opportunity to save money, cut back, and prepare for whatever lies ahead. In those circumstances, a DIY Will might seem like a good idea.
Although cost-saving and avoiding unnecessary expenditures is a savvy idea, there are some areas where it really doesn’t pay to get the best deal. One of those areas is estate planning. Sure, it’s possible to find a quick, DIY Will form online for under $200. In uncertain times like these, that may seem like a good idea. However, it really is not. In fact, it can be one of the costliest cost-saving measures you ever take. Why? Because a lot can go wrong when you do-it-yourself.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong with a DIY Will?
A Will is a legal document that communicates your wishes to the probate court after you die. On its own, a Will can do two things: 1) it tells the probate court who you want to receive your stuff after you pass, and 2) it allows you to express preferences about who should care for your children if you are unable to do so. Notice anything missing? Yes, pretty much everything that would be most important to your loved ones if you become ill or die isn’t included in a standard DIY Will. What about your medical care? Assets set aside to care for your children? Your home? Your business? Your debts? Your retirement accounts and life insurance policies and investments? All of those important parts of your life just aren’t included in a standard DIY Will, and that means it will be up to the Court and your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf, without guidance from you.
Beyond the obvious gaps in a simple, online DIY Will, this way of estate planning is riddled with chances to make mistakes. Have you ever made a typo? Misunderstood the phrasing of a question? Accidentally spelled a word wrong or transposed some numbers? In life, these little mistakes are easily fixable. In an estate plan, a simple typo or mixed-up number sequence can cause major effects. And the worst part is, a Will only goes into effect after you pass away. So, by the time an error comes to light, you won’t be able to set things straight.
There are Just Some Things that Require Professional Attention
If you broke your ankle or got arrested for reckless driving or were rewiring your house, would you want to do it yourself? Or would you want to hire a professional who is trained to help you solve your problem the right way? Professionals in any area are trained to look out for mistakes, oversights, and missteps, and they have the experience and resources to point out where things might go wrong. The same is true of estate planning. Sure, it may feel like estate planning is just filling in the blanks on a few forms, but nothing could be further from the truth.
An experienced estate planning attorney does way more than just draft documents. From your very first conversation, an estate planning attorney assesses your unique family, assets, business, and life circumstances and makes recommendations for an estate plan that is custom-designed for you.
The Real Difference When Working with an Attorney
At The Tyra Law Firm, we take our responsibility to our clients very seriously. We approach each estate plan with the same care and attention as if it was our own. We also have the experience, the knowledge, and the resources to create a custom-tailored estate plan that works. We don’t just write simple Wills. We provide you with a comprehensive suite of legal documents that address each and every one of your potential needs. We include comprehensive Healthcare Directives, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship documents, Trusts, and even support for your Digital Assets. However, this message is larger than just us. We want you to know that we care about what happens to you and your loved ones. Whether you choose to hire us to help create your estate plan or not, we strongly suggest that you take the time and make the financial commitment to hire an experienced, competent attorney to walk you through this process. Don’t try to save money by going online. We’ve seen it go wrong too many times before.
If you are ready to start creating your estate plan, give The Tyra Law Firm a call. We can help.