It is possible that with a little bit of reading and perhaps downloading a few forms, that you can create an estate plan for yourself. It is usually a mistake to do so.
Many people think they have straightforward desires regarding who should get their assets after they pass away. As a result, they do a little bit of research and may download a form or two to guide them. After a few hours, they have something that they conclude constitutes an estate plan and think they have saved money.
The problem is that the majority of estates are not quite as straightforward as non-attorneys assume. The South Bend Tribune recently discussed this in "You can do your own estate plan, but should you?"
One example discussed is a situation where a man thought he could make his own estate plan, but it ended up a complicated mess after he passed away because no consideration was given for how his family would get liquid assets when they needed them. Since the estate is worth $12 million, it will cost far more in attorney's fees to sort out everything in the estate than a proper plan would have cost in the first place.
Some people suggest that instead of doing everything on your own, it would be a good idea to use an online service for estate planning. With those services, you can get some basic questions and answers to consider and they are cheaper than attorneys. The problem is that it still does not give you the personal attention estate planning requires. Asking the right question in a face-to-face meeting can mean the difference between a solid plan and a solid mess.
In the end, you might lack the knowledge to answer any questions in the best way for your estate. There is no good substitute for an estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning in Orlando, FL (and throughout the rest of Central Florida), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: South Bend Tribune (Feb. 6, 2018) "You can do your own estate plan, but should you?"