Many people find it to be rewarding to engage in do-it-yourself projects, and in recent years the practice has really grown by leaps and bounds. There are a number reasons for this, not the least of which is the growing number of home-improvement superstores, craft shops, and automotive stores that are infinitely well-stocked with software of all kinds, shapes and sizes. You can order anything that you want.
In addition, the widespread use of the Internet has made the instantaneous sharing of detailed information on virtually any subject a routine part of our lives, and this makes it easier to educate yourself adequately if you’re interested in engaging in some sort of DIY project.
Doing things for yourself has many clear advantages, but it is very important to draw a line between the things that the hobbyist can do effectively and things that are better left in the hands of professionals. If you search the Internet looking for information on estate planning and the creation of wills and trusts you’ll see people offering instructions and software packages that enable anyone to just simply fill in the blanks and create their own estate plan.
The reality is that you can go this route if you want to, but whether or not the documents that you create wind up being legally binding in the jurisdiction within which you reside is anybody’s guess. There can be no “one-size-fits-all” legal document that is 100% reliable because the parameters are different depending on where you live, and of course each situation is unique. I can ask 100 people the same three questions and, based on their answers, each of the 100 plans I put together for them will be different.
In addition, even if you were able to put together a will or simple trust using some Internet marketer’s kit and it did wind up being legally admissible, are you sure that this particular instrument was the best choice as a vehicle of transfer?
Licensed estate planning attorneys listen to the wishes of their clients and carefully examine the anatomy of their assets, ultimately making recommendations based on years of education and experience. Your estate plan is constructed for the benefit of your loved ones, and it is risky business to take your chances with a do-it-yourself kit when you consider the importance of your legacy.
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