Why DIY Estate Planning Is Not a Good Idea
The internet has created several resources that allow people to do nearly anything by themselves. Want to modify your car’s bumper plate? All you have to do is look up a video on YouTube. Considering replacing your kitchen sink faucet? Google yields innumerable results for DIY guides. However, despite the plethora of resources available on the internet, you should never take legal matters into your hands. Instead, you’ll be better off shelling out a few bucks to hire a competent lawyer. Estate planning works the same way.
Although there are numerous guides and applications to help you plan your estate by yourself, we advise you to refrain from falling prey to the sentiment that you can do it yourself.
Estate planning is a complex procedure that requires extensive knowledge of the law. One tiny mistake could result in your children not receiving the assets you set aside for them. There are numerous statutes that you need to know to prepare an impeccable estate law. Most people preparing an estate law by themselves aren’t lawyers, so they’re more likely to make an error that could have grave consequences.
Why You Shouldn’t Prepare Your Estate Plan
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t plan your estate. These reasons include:
No Legal Advice
Going to an estate lawyer means you get legal guidance. A lawyer is well-versed in the statutes regarding their relevant field. However, if you’re opting to prepare an estate plan by yourself, you don’t have access to any legal counsel. Moreover, you’re unlikely to find a single source that can address all your concerns and worries.
While you can educate yourself on the necessary laws, you still have to consider how they impact your particular familial situation. The application of statutes can often vary, depending upon personal circumstances. In addition, you’re unlikely to find the necessary information online if you have a special needs child. Therefore, while you may find a guide online that addresses all the general questions, it’s improbable that you’ll find a source that can help you with matters relating to your family.
State Specific Compliance
Estate planning laws can vary from state to state. For instance, the statutes that apply in Oregon may be inapplicable in New York. Moreover, state laws regarding power of attorney and advance medical directive also differ, creating complexities that you can’t handle. Furthermore, if your Will doesn’t adhere to state laws, the court may consider it invalid, rendering more problems for your children.
A probate lawyer will help you set up trusts to allocate your assets to your children. Probate lawyers are aware of probate laws, and they can guide you on how to reduce the tax your children will have to pay to receive their inheritance.
However, setting up trusts is an intricate procedure. Depending on the trust’s purpose and the assets you own, you may have to transfer the assets from your name into the trust’s name. If you fail to follow any of these steps or make an error, your children could face significant problems, requiring them to go through probate court and pay probate taxes to receive their inheritance.
Consult a Legal Firm for Your Estate Planning
If you’ve read through this blog post, it may be abundantly clear that planning your estate yourself isn’t the best idea. If you’re looking for help with your estate planning in NYC, the law offices of Ledwidge and Associates can assist you.
Ledwidge and Associates is a real property law firm assisting clients with estate planning in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Our attorney Joseph Ledwidge helps clients with their estate planning and probate needs.
Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our estate law attorneys.
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