Creating or updating your current estate planning documents, including powers of attorney, health care directives, trusts, and wills, is essential to make sure your wishes are honored after your death. It is also beneficial if you become unable to manage your affairs on your own. Today there is no shortage of DIY options when it comes to estate planning.
It can be tempting to use low-cost online services to handle all your estate planning needs. However, if you do this, it may result in your estate plan, not being everything you want it to be. When you decide to hire an estate planning lawyer to help you prepare and execute your legal estate planning documents, you will gain an array of benefits, which are found below.
When creating any estate planning documents, including trusts and wills, it should not be something you prepare once, never revisiting again. As life events happen or as your financial situation changes, you must ensure your plan and all related documents are still doing what you want and need. If you currently have estate planning documents, your attorney needs to review them to determine if any updates are required based on your wishes and goals.
While it depends on your circumstances, sometimes, a simple codicil to a will or an amendment to a trust will be enough. However, in some situations, it may be necessary to re-evaluate your entire estate plan to avoid probate or minimize your estate taxes.
By working with a licensed estate planning attorney, you can feel confident that all documents will be drafted per the existing laws. Trust and probate laws are state-specific. They also change from time to time. By working with a lawyer, you can have peace of mind that your plan fits the state law’s parameters.
A huge mistake made of the DIY approach to estate planning is the risk that the documents will not accomplish the goals you have. The fact is real estate planning verbiage is often confusing and complicated. If you misinterpret or understand what an online form provider is asking you, you will waste money on documents that cannot meet your needs.
Even worse, errors with estate planning documents often remain hidden until you die. At this point, changes cannot be made. However, when you work with an estate planning attorney, you will have someone who knows what you want and who can help ensure your documents meet these needs.
While some people may put off estate planning or believe it is not something that applies to them, it is best to take care of these issues now. By planning your affairs, you can have confidence your estate will be in order when you die, leaving your loved ones knowing what to expect, and without a mess to deal with, which may occur otherwise.