DIY estate planning is attractive to many people because it costs less than working with an attorney. However, creating your own estate plan is associated with many pitfalls. In some cases, your self-created plan may fail to meet laws and regulations, which would render it null and void.
In a majority of cases, it is best to seek out assistance from an experienced professional given the stakes are so high. You worked your whole life to build wealth and acquire property, and when you are gone it is crucial that your hard work is passed along to your heirs. U.S. News & World Report explains why creating your own estate plan is not usually the best course of action.
Laws are unique to each state
Your estate plan must adhere to the current laws in Alaska. If they do not, you run the risk of your estate plan being considered non-compliant. This will leave decisions up to the court where you live, which might make very different decisions than you did within estate planning documents. Additionally, if you own property in different states, your plan must be tailored with that in mind.
You might not know what you need
Is your estate protected by just a will, or do you also require a trust? What about powers of attorney? Do you have one for medical and financial issues? And is your healthcare power of attorney backed up by a living will? Estate planning is rarely cut and dried. There are many things to consider, and if you are not well-versed in estate planning topics, it is likely you will miss something.
Complex estates always require assistance
People with considerable wealth must have help with estate planning. For example, the tax implications of wealth must be taken into account to prevent you or your heirs for paying exorbitant amounts in taxes. Other situations also make the process more difficult, such as establishing guardianship of a minor with a disability. Working with an attorney ensures your individual needs and circumstances are addressed.