The intention of doing an estate plan on your own, is rarely to create a massive headache for family members. However, that is very often exactly what happens.
Certain areas of the law are more complicated than others. The tax law is one of the more complex ones. That’s one of the many reasons why estate planning requires the help of a professional, especially when it comes to transferring wealth to the next generation.
The experienced and skillful legal counsel of a knowledgeable estate planning and tax attorney can make the difference between an estate that is smoothly managed and a disaster that takes years and significant costs to untangle.
Axcess News recently published an article, “The Very Real Dangers Of Doing Your Own Estate Planning” that details the major issues that people experience when they try to do this type of thing on their own.
Those with simple estates don’t need a great deal of estate planning, but they still need some. This may include a will, healthcare directive and a power of attorney. People try to create these documents on their own, searching online for a free template or a paid program. Many people who elect to go online to save money, wind up spending more than they anticipated, or they end up with a defective estate plan that only creates more issues for their family, once they’ve passed away. The web will might work out just perfectly for some, but others risk much more than they save.
A common issue is trying to determine if a simple estate plan will be enough for a person’s specific situation. Your situation can be complicated if your spouse has already passed, if you have children, if you own real estate or if you’ve been divorced and remarried. If any of these apply, the best bet is to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney. The free web solution just won’t cut it.
You may need a trust. That’s a sophisticated task that definitely requires legal expertise because a simple mistake can make the trust null and void. A qualified local estate planning attorney will understand the details of the law and your situation. He or she will guide you into making the right choices for you and your loved ones. If your do-it-yourself estate plan has an error or flaw, the legacy you wanted to leave to your family may be challenged in court.
For those whose estates are worth millions, the possibility of giving a large portion over to the government in taxes should be enough motivation to contact an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she will know the tax laws, the strategies and how to manage the process.
Reference: Axcess News (August 2017) “The Very Real Dangers of Doing Your Own Estate Planning”