The Internet makes it relatively easy to do various different things for yourself. There are instruction booklets that you can buy, and you can visit forums to get advice from others. You can even buy worksheets and downloads online that guide you as you create estate planning documents.
While you can purchase these documents, you may want to take pause. There are various different reasons why do-it-yourself estate planning is risky business.
Choosing the Right Documents
If you visit a website that sells generic, template legal documents, what estate planning documents would you buy? Are you sure that you want to use a last will to transfer your assets?
There are various different reasons why a last will may not be the best choice. For one, a will must be admitted to probate before the heirs receive their inheritances. Probate is a time-consuming process, and there are considerable expenses that can accumulate during probate.
It is possible to facilitate asset transfers outside of the process of probate.
Do you have a family member on your inheritance list who is a spendthrift? If you leave this person a direct inheritance through the terms of a last will that you create online, are you sure the heir will be able to handle the funds effectively? Will the inheritance be protected from creditors, claimants, and former spouses?
Taxation is another thing to take into consideration. Are you aware of the federal estate tax parameters? Do you own property in any other states? Is a last will going to provide tax efficiency?
As you can see, many different circumstances can exist. There are estate planning tools that can be utilized to address any objectives that you may have. If you make decisions without knowledge of all the facts, unintended consequences can result.
Speaking of unintended consequences, the highly respected magazine Consumer Reports recommended against do-it-yourself estate planning a couple of years ago.
They engaged three legal professors to examine last wills that were created by staffers using worksheets and downloads that they bought from leading purveyors of generic legal documents. The professors found that the utilization of the online notions can result in unintended consequences.
Special Report on DIY Estate Planning
We have put the subject of DIY estate planning under the microscope in our special report on the subject. This report is being offered free of charge, and you can obtain access through this website.
To get your copy of the report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: DIY Estate Planning Report.
Free Estate Planning Consultation
There is no reason to resort to guesswork when you are planning your estate. If you would like to discuss your estate plan with a licensed attorney, click this link to request a free consultation: Indianapolis Estate Planning.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.