At first glance, the estate planning process might seem relatively straightforward. This is because a lot of people think that the process is nothing more than creating a basic will to specify how assets will be distributed upon death. But the process is oftentimes much more complicated than that.
In fact, depending on the extent of your estate and your vision for the future, you may need a trust, a will, and multiple powers of attorney. Can you create all of this on your own?
Maybe. But there are some real risks associated with creating your own estate plan. On the other hand, there are significant advantages to having a skilled legal professional help you with your estate planning. Let’s look at some of those advantages:
- Knowledge: Most people don’t have a lot of experience with estate planning. But an estate planning attorney does. Your legal professional will know the ins and outs of the process, and he or she will be able to adequately advise you of your estate planning options. This will better ensure that you’re able to make the estate planning decisions that are right for you, your estate and your family.
- Thoroughness: You need your estate plan to be as detailed as possible so that your vision of the future can come to fruition. But you’re also going to have to ensure that your estate planning documents meet all the legal requirements. If they don’t, a court could find them invalid. An attorney will be able to provide your estate plan with the thoroughness required to ensure that it is targeted to meet your goals.
- Attention: An experienced estate planning attorney is going to give you the one-on-one attention that you deserve. You’ll have easy access to your attorney so that your estate plan can not only be crafted with care but also modified in a way that suits changing needs. Your questions will be answered, and the advice given to you will be custom-tailored to your circumstances. You won’t’ get this if you try to create your own estate plan.
- Legal know-how: Although you’ll have to know your estate planning options before you can craft the strategy that is right for you and your family, you also have to ensure that your estate planning documents are drafted in a legally valid way. If you try to create these legal vehicles on your own, then you run the risk of your estate plan being susceptible to litigation and invalidation.
- Experience: With an experienced attorney guiding you, you can rest assured that you’re being advised appropriately. Common estate planning pitfalls will be identified and avoided, and your attorney will know which strategies have been successful for people in your situation before.
- Peace of mind: If you try to create your own estate plan, then you might always have a lingering doubt that there’s a fatal flaw in your estate plan. You can avoid that stress, though, by working with an attorney to create an ironclad estate plan that suits your needs.
Are you ready to embark on your estate planning journey?
We know that it takes a lot of courage to start the estate planning process. But you don’t have to be afraid of it. You just have to be knowledgeable and smart about how to protect your estate. An attorney who is dedicated to this area of the law is thus probably best positioned to assist you with your plan.