When DIY Estate Planning Goes Wrong

Estate planning is essential to ensuring a person’s assets are dispersed efficiently and as fairly as possible when they pass. While many believe they can save time and money by taking a DIY approach to estate planning, such a choice can ultimately do more harm than good. Stakes are high, and even the tiniest of mistakes can have serious, long-term consequences. Here are just a few of the most common errors made by people preparing their own estate planning documents:

Overlooking Important Legal Documents

Knowledge blind spots can be deceptively dangerous – after all, you don’t know what you don’t know. Even if your will is in perfect order, your assets may end up going through an expensive probate process if you overlook key components of the estate planning process. It can be difficult to keep track of the various documents provided to you by bankers, mortgage brokers, financial planners and insurance agents. To ensure you’re not forgetting anything important, work with a professional estate planning attorney.

Forgetting to Update Plans

Family dynamics change more frequently than we might expect. Couples get divorced, loved ones pass away, and trusted relationships wear thin. We often think of estate planning as a singular appointment or strategy, but the process deserves your attention at least annually. Without updating your estate plans in a timely fashion, your assets could wind up in the pockets of those you trust the least. By meeting regularly with a trusted estate planning attorney, you can ensure your wealth is protected as it grows and changes over time.

Failing to Get Proper Signatures

Not all signatures are created equal. In fact, if you don’t have the right number of witnesses to the signing of your will, your estate could be in hot water. A failure to adhere to the rules surrounding witnesses and signatures could invalidate your will entirely. No matter how carefully you created your estate plan, it will be for naught if you don’t follow the witness and signature regulations on all estate planning documents.

Do Your Due Diligence Now

If you’ve begun the estate planning process independently, it may indeed be time to schedule an appointment with an attorney experienced in wills, trusts, and retirement planning. With so much at stake, why run the risk of your wealth being improperly handled? Instead, do the due diligence necessary to ensure your family, loved ones, and assets are managed with care. Contact the Wilson+Miller team today to get started: 501-221-7776.

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