Pitfalls of DIY estate planning
Numerous websites and companies offer do-it-yourself wills whose biggest draw for Nevada residents is that they are not expensive. However, DIY estate planning kits are often woefully inadequate to cover a person’s needs. This means that after that person’s death, surviving family members will most likely need to go through time consuming and expensive measures in order to settle the estate.
For instance, family members could spend a significant amount of time and money determining who will be the guardian of an individual’s minor children. The court is not bound by law to the appoint the guardian named in a will. However, so long as the best interests of the children are not compromised by respecting the wishes expressed in the will, the document will provide direction to the court and the guardian named will most likely be appointed.
A person’s will may not be the final authority in some cases either. Some assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies are passed on to the party or parties identified in the beneficiary designation form fill out by the account holder. These accounts will pass in accordance with that form regardless of what the will indicates.
Another thing that do-it-yourself estate planning kits do not account for is the fact that every family dynamic is different. It may take more complex documentation in order to properly meet a Nevada resident’s estate planning goals. It may be true that there is more of an initial financial outlay when having an attorney create an estate plan, but ultimately, it will save family members left behind time, money and unnecessary frustration. It will most likely also give the individual the peace of mind that the estate will be handled according to his or her wishes.
Source: fool.com, “How to Write a Last Will: 5 Tips You Should Know“, Dan Caplinger, June 18, 2015