As Americans (and especially Texans), we live in a culture of do-it-yourself, weekend warrior types that often prefer to handle projects on our own rather than hire someone with expertise to handle the work for us. If you have the skill set and tools to do the job, it can be a real money-saver, and even therapeutic for those who enjoy this type of work. When it comes to your estate plan, however, this is usually a bad idea, as pointed out in this article from WMUR.com Money Matters.
There are a few pros to the idea of completing your own estate plan, namely:
While there are some pros to creating your Houston estate plan by yourself, there are also some serious potential drawbacks, such as:
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about DIY estate planning is that while you can locate forms to implement your estate plan, the websites and other resources you will find go out of their way to let you know they are not offering legal advice. An estate plan is a collection of legal documents, so why would you not want legal advice in preparing them? An estate planning attorney can provide you with insights into your specific financial and family situation and can prepare an estate plan that is tailored to meet your specific needs. While it may initially cost more than a DIY approach, it can save your loved ones a considerable amount of time and money in the long run. So, before you decide to embark on a DIY estate plan, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each approach.
Reference: WMUR.com Money Matters: (September 11, 2014) “The potential pitfalls of DIY estate planning”