20 Sep Save the DIY projects for crafting, not for creating an estate plan
In the age of the internet and smart phones, people have a plethora of information available at their fingertips. All it takes is a quick Google search to look up how to do just about anything. While easy access to how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies or fix a broken cabinet is good, some things are best left to the experts. Creating an estate plan is one of those things. Read on to discover why.
1. Estate planning creates an assets name game
At first glance, estate planning seems as simple as creating a connect-the-dots version of who gets what when you die. In reality, making sure your assets go to the right person is much more complicated.
For example, most DIY wills have a person place the name of their beneficiary into a provided blank. So, if you wanted to give your daughter Jane Doe what’s left in your bank account, you’d write her name into the blank along with the asset. However, if Jane isn’t named as a beneficiary on your account and your son John is, Jane is unable to access the money when you die even though your DIY will says it should go to her. This is because who the account has listed as a beneficiary takes precedence.
A skilled attorney knows the ins and outs of estate planning and can ensure assets go to the correct person, which is why you should hire an attorney rather than trust an online DIY fill-in-the-blank form.
2. Estate planning requires specific language
A person’s assets and beneficiaries change over time, such as with a portfolio increase or birth in the family. For this reason, many people create more than one will during their lifetime. It’s necessary to include language within a will that makes any previous wills void when a new one is created. An attorney knows how to word a will in order to make changes legally binding, which is why estate planning is best left to the experts.
3. Estate planning documents are easily mixed up
A variety of documents are used to create an estate plan, and many of them sound similar. Unlike a free form found on the internet, an attorney will sit down with you and explain the differences between a living will and last will and testament and durable vs. healthcare powers of attorney. A trained individual will be able to take the guess work out of creating an estate plan. This, in turn, will help ensure you are making a plan that fits your individual needs.
Ditch the DIY forms and hire an attorney to help you create an individualized estate plan. Learn how Boyum Law can help you create an estate plan by clicking here.