DIY estate plan blog

09 Jan Dangers of Do It Yourself Plans

DIY, or do-it-yourself, is a big part of our society today. It can be a great option for cost-saving possibilities, as well as to let your creativity loose. However, there are some areas where DIY can steer you wrong and actually cause major issues. Phelps Law, with locations in Gilbert and Scottsdale, has been providing excellent estate plans to families for over 35 years. We have seen what works, and what causes many issues. We have seen devastation result from do-it-yourself estate planning, which is the last thing you want your family to have to experience after your death.

Dangers of DIY Estate Plans

On the surface, do-it-yourself estate planning can seem like the easiest, most cost-efficient way to create your will and trust to secure the future of your loved ones. However, some major issues can arise from attempting to create your own estate plan, including:

  • Misapplied laws: Laws on estate planning regularly change, and if you are not up-to-date on all the laws, this can be detrimental to your loved ones and be more costly in the end. It also can mean that you may miss out on tax breaks on your estate or other types of money-saving aspects.
  • Using wrong documents: There are several types of required documents depending on your specific needs, and they vary by state. If you miss one, or do not include the right documents, it can nullify much of the protection you are seeking through estate planning. Your whole plan will become invalid; it will be as though you never had one to begin with.
  • Incorrectly prepared documents: There are aspects of strategic estate planning, such as a special needs trust, that should be included based on certain cases. If the paperwork is not filled out properly, the asset protection or distribution may be vulnerable.
  • Advice: A lawyer does not just help you fill out the correct paperwork; he or she is a key advisor in the whole process. As your legal counselor, your lawyer is are able to recommend wills and trusts that are specific to your circumstances. With years of watching how estate plans play out in the end, Phelps Law has the necessary experience to help you create a plan that will work out exactly how you want it to. With a do-it-yourself plan, you have no guidance or advice to ensure you get what you need.

While saving time and money may initially seem like a great idea, do-it-yourself estate planning  can lead to disaster in the long run. Estate planning is more than the couple pieces of paperwork certain sites boast. There are many aspects to be considered and laws to take into account. For your best strategic estate planning, contact Phelps Law today!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/05/2018) Stacie (Flickr)