Can you DIY your Estate Plan?
These past few years have been hard on all of us. With the coronavirus pandemic still active, many people are still preferring the comfort of their own homes rather than going out into the world. Understandably, people want to feel safe and protected from the threat of COVID-19, but could all that time inside affect your idea of what makes up a good estate plan?
If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’ve picked up a few hobbies here and there, finally picked up that book you’ve been meaning to read. But for some people, they took it upon themselves to do some estate planning…from a downloadable form online. There can be so many missing pieces when it comes to DIYing your estate plan. Here are 3 issues you may run into if you decided to DIY your estate plan.
1. "You Need to Know What to Ask”
When it comes to the word “simple” many people may download a Will template, throw some personal information in there and call it a day. But sometimes even a GOOD Will just isn’t enough to protect what you want.
“If you want to cover everything, and are not sure what everything is, that's where the value of a professional comes in,"says Greg Hammer, president of Hammer Financial Group in Schererville, Indiana. “A financial advisor or estate planner will be able to explain what you need to include in a comprehensive estate plan.” Being able to speak with an attorney can come at a huge advantage, for example, they can point out issues and raise questions that you may not have thought of yourself! You want to make sure the attorney you deal with specializes in what you are looking for.
2. “More Complex Issues Require Professional Help”
Having a “complex” estate plan is very common. It’s important to project your wishes to your loved ones in a way that makes sense to you ethically and legally. Seeking a professional for an estate plan is the best course of action to truly understand your options and understand exactly what needs to be in place to protect your family, legacy, and wealth.
3. “Estate Laws Vary from State to State”
"Each state can have different rules and legal ways people set things up, including powers of attorney or a health care proxy," says Jeffrey Corliss, managing director and partner at RDM Financial Group at Hightower in Westport, Connecticut. When it comes to the law, it’s better to trust a professional. Attorney Michael Monteforte Jr. has over 20 years of experience with Estate Planning. He is licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York. When it comes to estate planning law, I’d call him an expert.
“Setting up health care directives and making end-of-life decisions can be tricky. In my opinion, it's too important to try to do it yourself," Corliss says. "If it gets screwed up it could affect the ability of your family to take care of financial expenses or manage health care issues. It's not something I would tend to delegate to a website."
Having a simple DIY estate plan is a possibility but it is widely unknown how a simple estate plan can be dangerous to not only your assets but to your loved ones.
Having a poor estate plan can lead to unnecessary stress and tension between family members if your wishes are not laid out properly.
If you would like to learn more about how to avoid a simple estate plan you can check out our many reports and request Michael’s book on Estate Planning, all free of charge. If you are interested in booking a Strategic Planning Session with Attorney Michael Monteforte to fully understand your options when it comes to Estate Planning, you can click here or opt-in to join our FREE upcoming seminar where Attorney Michael Monteforte will discuss Estate Planning and Elder Law.