So if you are like me, you take pride in completing a DIY project. Even though I feel a sense of satisfaction when I complete a project, I’ve learned over the years that there is a time and a place for DIY projects and a time for professionals to be called. Often, the risks of incorrectly doing a project outweigh the costs of calling a professional. This holds true for estate planning as well.
Some people think Estate Planning can be a DIY project. These people find online tools and services to complete estate planning documents. By attempting to use a DIY estate planning tool, people can end up causing more problems.
Over the years, I have helped people who come in after they realized there were problems with their DIY estate planning documents. Some of the problems these DIYers experienced include:
- Institutions did not accept their DIY power of attorney
- The online forms were not in sync with Wisconsin laws.
- Errors were made because they misinterpreted the online forms
- Unintentionally disinherited assets
These problems ended up costing the DIYers and their beneficiaries more time and money than it would have if they called a professional in the first place. These issues may have been avoided by speaking with an experienced Estate Planning Attorney up front. The role of an Estate Planning Attorney is to be a counselor in explaining your different options and pointing out some of the pitfalls that may be lurking. Computer generated forms are simply not comparable to the customized service and advice that an Estate Planning Attorney can provide.