DIY Estate Planning
05.12.2021 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.
The pandemic has created a huge market for do-it-yourselfers in the home improvement space.
Many people have used extra time at home and the proceeds from stimulus checks to complete updates and remodels to their family’s space. With the help of Google and YouTube, some of us believe that we can gain the necessary skills to go from helpless homeowner to amateur carpenter (and save some money in the process).
Sure, installing a fancy new backsplash can be a learnable skill, but would you want to do your own electrical or plumbing? I think not! These types of specialized skills and tasks are best left to well-trained professionals.
So, why do some people believe in a DIY approach for their estate planning needs? There are a ton of online platforms and other tools available on the internet that market to the DIY estate planner. They offer fill in the blank forms that can be printed, completed, and signed with ease.
So why do you need a lawyer?
- Do you know why certain situations require a Trust instead of a Will?
- Do you have a solid handle on the ever-changing world of estate taxes?
- Can you identify the differences between legal forms that are from one state or another, or perhaps that are current or outdated?
- Do you understand the different roles of various agents, such as Personal Representatives, Trustees, Guardians, Health Care Agents and Attorneys-in-Fact?
Did you know that merely signing an estate or incapacity planning document may not be enough to make it legally binding? If not, you could be leaving behind a disaster of a “plan” that costs much more to fix than it would have cost to hire an estate planning attorney in the first place. Typically, a broken estate plan will require additional legal representation and the input of the Minnesota probate court to remedy an error or fill in a missing piece of information. This cost does not account for the frustration, time, and emotional burden placed upon the people you leave behind.
It is an estate planning attorney’s job to educate, plan for the unknown, and to ask questions you may not have known to ask yourself. When it comes to estate planning, there is no such thing as “one-size fits all”. Contact an estate planning attorney at Henningson & Snoxell, LTD for the thorough guidance necessary to develop an estate plan tailored to your family’s circumstances and goals.