“I don’t need an estate plan. I don’t have an estate!” This is a statement I’ve heard all too often and it’s just not true. Everyone can benefit from having some sort of estate plan – even if it’s just a Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney and a Will.
Another comment I hear is “I don’t need a Will, my spouse is just going to get everything anyway.” Also not necessarily true. Without a Will, State law determines what happens to your house, bank accounts, cars, all of your personal belongings, your financial accounts, etc. Your spouse may have to share it with your kids – and if you don’t have kids, they’ll share with your parents!
There are numerous online and D-I-Y “legal providers” out there, and it seems the numbers continue to grow. We think we can find all the answers online. But you can only find an answer when you know what question to ask. Don’t give in to the temptation to do a Will on your own. Wills are not one-size-fits-all!
Filling out the forms may seem straightforward, but any mistakes you make may not come to light until it is TOO LATE. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when folks try to do this by themselves and the results are not good! You may think you’re saving your family a few bucks, but in reality, you’re possibly creating a financial nightmare for them, additional stress, confusion, grief and heartache. I’ve seen families fall apart just because a Will wasn’t worded properly.
5 Reasons Not to Create Your Own Will:
- Legal Expertise – The law is complicated! Attorneys spend three years in law school and are required to take an additional 12 hours of continuing education each year. Most of take even more than that, we attend conferences, read publications on this stuff. Every State has different requirements. Does the DIY package you bought meet all of the North Carolina requirements? We know how to create a plan that will work for you and your family when it’s needed. Would it be worth the savings now if your family was financially strapped after your death because you didn’t plan properly?
- Guidance – Having a plan in place that works for your family when it’s needed is priceless. Having an attorney who takes the time to understand your particular family dynamics and drafts documents specifically suited to your family is critical. No two families are alike — why should Wills be the same? Do you think you get a specialized, tailored plan with your ZippyCheapWillmaker plan? You don’t!
- Preventing Family Feuds – Have you ever read an email or letter and totally misunderstood the tone? Did you read more into it than what the words actually said? Have you ever been the deliverer of one of those? The same thing can happen in a Will. You may leave someone out or make unequal distributions that cause your loved ones heartache or confusion. At Susan Hunt Law, we work closely with you to understand your family and make sure we word your documents to avoid those hurt feelings. We’re also there when your family needs us, to explain your intentions, give them guidance and help them through the process.
- Coordination of Assets – Wills identify the beneficiaries of your probate estate – but what about the rest of your property that passes by joint ownership, payable on death designations or beneficiary designations? It’s is critically important that you name beneficiaries and payable on death designees…but you have to do it right. It can be very complicated to try and navigate coordination of assets on your own, especially if you want to provide for your minor children!
- Complexity – Even the “simple will” is often not simple. Just last week someone said they needed a “simple Will” and then proceeded to tell me they own a business, their parents had a family trust and they’re just now getting distributions, they’re in a non-traditional relationship. NOT SIMPLE! If you weren’t there to provide guidance to your family, would they know what to do? Where to find things? We help you get organized, create a personalized plan, and remain available for your family when we’re needed.
Don’t risk your family’s peace of mind or their financial future on DIY Planning.
Call Susan Hunt Law today to get started on the RIGHT plan for your family!