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The Drawbacks to A Do-It-Yourself Estate Plan

Dec. 30, 2020

People in Florida who are wondering whether they should simply write their own will or estate plan without seeking legal assistance should keep in mind that not everything that is permissible is necessarily a good idea. Preparing a do-it-yourself estate plan might be one of those things.

The Basics of Estate Planning

Some people might assume that they do not need an estate plan because they have few possessions of value and they think of an estate plan as synonymous with a will. In fact, there is a lot more to estate planning. At a minimum, you might want to consider who you want to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so. You might also want to think about whether you wish to appoint a loved one to manage your finances if you are incapacitated. For example, if you share a home with someone else and you become incapacitated, the other party might be unable to access your bank account to pay rent and other bills without a financial power of attorney.

Other Complications

Not knowing what may be necessary based on your situation is one danger of creating an estate plan on your own. Another is preparing the documents improperly. You might use the wrong legal language or make other errors, such as not realizing that any beneficiary designations you have completed may override your instructions in a last will and testament.

Getting Legal Help

Preparing an estate plan is a complex process. Most people are not aware of the types of documents they need or what strategies could be effective based on their particular circumstances. An attorney may be able to help in preparing a simple estate plan or with a more complex one that involves a trust and other documents.