The Disadvantages of DIY Estate Planning

September 23, 2013  |  William F. Huefner

These days it seems like there are thousands of DIY legal forms on the Internet. To believe some websites you don’t really need a law degree to practice law—you just need the right “template!”
But attorneys need special training and licensing for a reason. The law can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to estate planning.
If you do something incorrectly while writing your will then you could end up costing your heirs a great deal of time and money trying to fix your mistakes. Legal language is written in a very precise way. It’s meant to eliminate ambiguity and to address specific issues that you might not think of. Something that seems very clear to you may not make any sense at all to your heirs or the court.
Your DIY will could also leave your last wishes vulnerable to a challenge from your relatives. Ultimately, your will could be discounted as invalid, and it would be as if you’d never written one at all.
Attorneys also know how to ask you the right questions. This ensures that you address everything that you need to address. It ensures that you don’t miss anything important. There are parts of your estate that you probably don’t think much about on a day to day basis. It would be easy to omit them in your will.
If you want to save a little money then do some preliminary research on estate planning. Get a few books from the library. Go to your lawyer prepared: have a list of topics that you want to talk about and issues that you want to address. This means you won’t spend as much of the attorney’s time since he won’t have to explain everything to you.
With that point made it is more important to do your will correctly than cheaply. Don’t trust your will to the dubious wisdom of the Internet. Call BGS, Minneapolis-area attorneys with over 75 years of experience, and put together an estate plan that your heirs can live with.