What are the risks of DIY estate planning?

| Jan 7, 2021 | blog

Estate planning serves a vital purpose for people concerned about their heirs. Estate planning often involves drawing up wills and trusts, which could help survivors and beneficiaries deal with the aftermath of a loved one’s passing. The process could be complicated and may involve the Georgia probate courts. Attempts to perform “do-it-yourself” estate planning might yield problems, which is why working with an attorney may prove far preferable.

Estate planning may come with several important concerns

Is the will written clearly under state law? If not, then the will may end up contested in probate court. In some cases, the will may not be valid at all. Georgia has specific requirements, such as a signature. Individuals not familiar with estate planning could make significant mistakes in not meeting these requirements.

Also, there may be a need to stay on top of changing and updating a will. The testator could find his or her estate grow exponentially, which may necessitate revisions and dealing with a more complex estate.

Missing out on vital aspects of estate planning

Estate planning may involve lengthy discussions with an attorney to address different responsibilities. A person not versed in estate planning might only think about writing a will and not realize that a trust is another option. They may also think estate planning only involves dealing with the distribution of assets after death. Estate planning could also involve many contracts and documents that deal with matters while the planner is still alive.

For example, estate planning helps address matters related to medical and health care. A living will and a health care proxy are two such documents. A living will reflects an incapacitated person’s wishes for medical care while a health care proxy shifts decisions in these manners to another person.

DIY estate planning comes with risks. Meeting with an estate planning attorney may help make the process both thorough and legally sound.