The average consumer has many options when it comes to managing their day-to-day affairs.  Today’s market seems to be flooded with do-it-yourself products aimed at that very thing.  Estate planning is one area where there are products directed at consumers who want to prepare their estate plan (Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, Medical Directives) without the benefit of advice from an attorney.  While this option tends to be attractive to consumers seeking to spend less on legal services, it may not necessarily the right one.  While it is understandable that people want to save money on legal fees, there can be significant drawbacks when you plan your estate without the right advice.

Do-it-Yourself legal planning services tend to be designed for a limited number of circumstances.  However, when it comes to estate planning, it is rarely a one-size-fits-all experience.  People have various circumstances, assets, and resources which make it essential that the estate plan is customized to the individual and his or her family and specific assets.  For instance, planning for bequeathing a family vacation home or business would require a great deal of preparation and forethought which a basic estate planning program would not be able to address adequately.  Additionally, parents of a disabled child would need to plan using legal devices which are more advanced and typically not offered by these services.  There are also considerations regarding guardianships of minor children which cannot be simply made without legal advice.  Further, planning for other objectives can be complicated (child’s bad marriage or substance abuse problems, creditors or bad marriage).

While do-it-yourself products may address the surface of estate planning needs, most estate plans have more aspects than these products were designed to reach.  In order to fully explore your planning options, it is advisable to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney in order to ensure that you are covering all of the essential areas of your estate. As you plan for your estate issues often arise which an experienced attorney would be able to anticipate, prepare for, and address.

As you plan for your estate issues often arise which an experienced attorney would be able to anticipate, plan for, and address.  Our office has attorneys who are experienced and knowledgeable and can help you plan for every aspect of your estate. Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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