The “do it yourself” trend is growing in all aspects of our lives. From crafts to home renovations, there are resources available online to help people save money and accomplish something. However, there is one aspect of life where D.I.Y. is not always the best option – the law. This has not halted the stream of online “do it yourself” legal resources. Read on to learn about the rise of do it yourself estate planning as well as the pros and cons of a following a D.I.Y. legal path.

Do It Yourself Online Tools

There are a wide variety of do it yourself tools, which are especially prolific on the Internet. These tools are often “fill in the blank” style documents. It is nearly impossible to make any sort of special concessions or make atypical requests. The American Bar Association warns consumers who wish to complete a so it yourself estate planning job to consider the role an attorney plays

Pros Of D.I.Y.

There are advantages for certain individuals in using D.I.Y. tools. Perhaps the most obviously beneficial case is the young single person. While it’s smart for people to establish estate planning documents as soon as they turn 18, it’s not always practical. Particularly if the 18-year-old  is unmarried and has few to no assets to their name.

Basic packages on D.I.Y. site are affordable and simple enough for an older teen or young adult to complete on their own or with relatively little help. It saves time and money, as well as keeping things simple.

Cons Of D.I.Y.

On the other hand, do it yourself projects always run the risk of turning out as a bust. Oftentimes, the estate planning documents on D.I.Y. websites are oversimplified. There is typically not room for special conditions or unusual clauses.

Additionally, D.I.Y. sites that advertise themselves as completely free might not meet conditions of probate. Completely free sites, because they do not make money off of their customers do not have to make their documents comply with state estate planning laws. In fact, certain sites have faced law suits in the past.

Why To Entrust Your Estate To An Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning attorneys offer a wide variety of benefits to their clients.

  • They ensure that all estate planning documents comply with state laws so the will is valid.
  • There is someone to clarify the writer’s intentions after they pass, so you get exactly what you want.
  • Attorneys help families navigate the probate process, or sometimes avoid certain parts of the process. They also advise their clients on how to minimize the estate taxes levelled against estates moving through probate.
  • Estate planning attorneys hold onto copies of the paperwork to validate the legitimacy of the documents.