Plenty of legal shortcuts have popped up on the Internet in recent years, promoting the benefits of bypassing professional lawyers and opting for DIY legal procedures. One of the biggest markets is, ironically, one of the last most people should be doing themselves.
Estate planning, like life itself, is completely unique to each individual. There is no hard format for planning your estate, setting up a will or ensuring the inclusion of advance care directives. The sites that offer DIY estate planning services, while noble in intent, lack many of the key benefits provided by an experienced attorney.
- DIY planning lacks the ability to sit and listen to you, take in your hopes and fears for the future, and work with you to build a completely customized answer to your concerns. Empathy, the willingness and ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, is an indispensable trait that the best estate planning attorneys will bring to the table every time.
- It is easy to make mistakes with DIY estate planning. The law is highly-nuanced and a wrong interpretation here or missed answer there could cost you big when it all shakes out. The most experienced estate planning attorneys have likely spent decades working within the estate planning laws of your state and will know how to use them to your advantage.
- A computer program can give you definitions and summaries, but an estate planning attorney will share information with you and directly address specific concerns. If you have a question, or are unsure of something, nothing is more beneficial than having someone there to address your question in person.
- The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning (U.S. News & World Report)