DIY estate planning sounds like a great idea, as it gives you full control over the process while putting you in position to save money. However, if you take this approach, you’re at risk of making one or more mistake, which could end up costing you over the long run.
The primary pitfall of DIY estate planning is a lack of legal knowledge. It’s not likely that you’re familiar with the many federal and state laws that govern estate planning, which greatly increases the chance of doing something that will affect you and/or your loved ones down the road.
Here are some potential mistakes that often result from DIY estate planning:
- Choosing a will instead of a trust, or vice versa: It’s critical to learn more about all your options, as this is the only way to truly know what’s best for you, your family, and your estate as a whole. For example, many people opt against a trust, as they’re under the wrong impression that it’s extremely expensive to create and time-consuming to manage.
- Ignoring incapacity planning: It’s a common mistake to focus so much time on what happens to your assets upon your death that you overlook your health and well being while you’re alive. A comprehensive incapacity planning strategy will ensure that you’re well taken care of, even if you’re unable to make decisions on your own.
- Neglecting to combine estate and retirement planning: Your estate plan and retirement plan should work together in harmony. If they don’t, one of them could fall short of reaching your expectations, which once again has an impact on you and your family in more ways than one.
Now do you see why DIY estate planning is full of risks?
If you’re considering DIY estate planning, take a step back to ensure that you know exactly what you’re doing. By attending one of our free seminars, you’ll get a better idea of your overall level of knowledge and what you should do next. You may soon come to find that it’s best to consult with an estate planning attorney.