Solution Law Firm Blog

Why DIY Estate Planning is a Bad Idea For the People You Love

by | Mar 22, 2021

Americans love their DIY, but building a back deck and drafting a legally valid estate plan are incredibly different from each other. Plus, a less than perfect porch won’t necessarily devastate the relationships of your loved ones or their financial future. 

Many have utilized online legal services to create their own legal documents thinking these inexpensive documents will be just as effective as ones drafted by an estate planning attorney. The following is why that thought process is incredibly wrong:

No legal advice – these sites are little more than document mills that churn out the same generic forms over and over.  They are not attorneys and cannot advise or warn you if you make a mistake. Plus, who will be there for your family when something happens to you if you’ve used an online document drafting service?

 You may want to reconsider if you’re under the impression your family won’t need an advisor for support when you are no longer around. Consider this: Erica’s dad was killed in a motorcycle accident and, while he didn’t leave much, he had his estate planning in order. If Dad’s attorney hadn’t been there, Erica and her brother may have taken all of the estate and drowned their sorrows backpacking in Europe. Instead, they have a trust fund in place that will assist them throughout life with the proceeds of a successful wrongful death case.

It can be a big mistake to leave your family to know what to do on their own when you pass. 

One size doesn’t fit all – your family is different from everyone else’s family.  Every family has different situations just like every state has different inheritance laws. An online form can’t help protect a child’s inheritance from a nasty divorce or creditors or protect your special needs relative. It also can’t tell you how to help achieve your goals or best protect your assets. 

DIY Estate Planning
Serious furniture designer carefully sanding a chair frame that he is busy manufacturing in his woodwork studio, with shelves of wooden items behind him

It definitely can’t keep your family out of conflict while they are grieving. Whatever you have will be distributed to your loved ones no matter how many assets you are leaving behind. The biggest disagreements we’ve seen following death aren’t about money. Instead, they are about little things that can’t be handled with an online form.

Save now, pay later – it’s impossible to compare an online service to an attorney-provided service since the services provided are likely incredibly different – even if you think you are saving money by using the online service. 

An estate planning attorney can help in a variety of ways – personally tailored estate plans according to your individual needs that will also stand up in court; advise you how to cut taxes; and save for long-term care and retirement. Online services can’t offer you any of that. 

On top of this, your adviser will be able to be there for your family when you are unable. Your loved ones will need someone to turn to after you die. Certainly, you wouldn’t want them to be stuck with the question of “who can I turn to” in their moments of grief. Instead, it would be best to leave everything well taken care of and with someone to hold their hand when you can’t. 

This article is a service of The Solution Law Firm, P.A. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.

Latest Articles

Join Us

Select below the practice area you are interested in