As information about how to do things yourself becomes more and more available through channels like YouTube and television, more and more people are becoming confident in their abilities to take on projects like simple car repairs, furniture refinishing, and even home remodeling. The sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that accompany completing a do-it-yourself (DIY) project is terrific, but some things must get done with the help of a trained, licensed professional. Estate planning is one thing that individuals should not attempt to undertake on their own because when mistakes get made, they are costly to fix – if they can get fixed at all.
The reason why many DIY estate planning mistakes cannot get fixed is that the documents that a person creates when they make their estate plan do not get seen by many people until after they pass away. In other words, the documents that you create with a DIY estate planning product might not produce the final results that you intend them to, and you’ll never know. What’s more, your surviving friends and family are bound by what got put into writing, if it’s valid, even if they know that that isn’t what you would have wanted to happen. In contrast, if you work with an estate planning attorney, your attorney can walk you through the process of creating documents that will make your final wishes known and provide the legal mechanisms for ensuring that decision-making power and assets get into the hands of the people that you want them to.
DIY estate planning mistakes have caused grief on top of loss for many families. Families who have family members with special needs, families with family businesses, blended families, families with assets in multiple states or countries, and families with substantial estates are very much at risk of harm from DIY estate planning. However, the risks of economic and emotional damage to the average family and even the family with few assets are substantial.
Whether you think your estate is simple or complex, there is no substitute for the knowledge of an estate planning attorney when it comes to making sure that your wishes will get carried out. One example of something that can go wrong with DIY estate planning is an estate getting left with insufficient funds to pay the estate tax. When that happens, surviving heirs could have to round up cash to pay it themselves, hire attorneys to sort the issue out in court, or both.
While you may think that visiting an estate planning attorney will be costly, it is critical that you get some accurate figures from local estate planning attorneys on what it’s likely to cost you. Chances are, when you weigh that cost against the potential damage to your loved ones if you do your estate plan yourself and make a mistake, the value of hiring an estate planning attorney will outweigh any present-day savings that you might realize by doing your estate plan yourself.
A Kansas estate planning attorney will help you select the proper documents for your estate plan based on your unique needs. They can prepare those documents for you and ensure that they get signed, witnessed, and recorded correctly so that they are valid.
Free Estate Planning Consultation
To learn more about estate planning in Kansas, call the Wichita law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. at 316-265-7802, or contact us online to arrange a consultation.