Many companies sell online forms, such as powers of attorney, wills, and trusts you can download and execute yourself. Creating these “fill-in-the-blank” forms online is only appropriate in limited circumstances.
If you have assets or loved ones, online forms or a do-it-yourself plan probably will not work to achieve your goals. Who will explain the terms and answer your questions from the keyboard?
The most important thing to remember about DIY estate planning is that any mistake that invalidates your will can cause the entire document to be thrown out. For example, once a trust is created, was it funded appropriately? Are all of the steps and follow through kept up-to-date over the years?
Only valid legal documents will fulfill your intentions and wishes, and an attorney will keep you in the loop of what to do in specific situations, such as when a beneficiary passes before you.
A well-versed estate planning attorney will also help you identify when changes in the law make it necessary to update your documents to stay in front of estate tax laws. If a mistake is made in estate planning, there is no way to correct it when you are no longer here or when you have lost your capacity to sign a new document.
People feel that the expense of an attorney to guide and draw up documents is too high. In reality, if your documents are not properly drafted or executed, your loved ones may end up paying more money in court costs and litigation fees to administer your estate than what it would have cost to properly prepare the documents in the first place. How much better that those assets remain to be shared with loved ones in line with your wishes rather than being spent on court costs later which could have easily been avoided with properly prepared documents.
Strohschein Law Group helps families every day with their estate and long-term care planning needs. All family situations are sensitive and unique and we can design a plan to make your hopes become your reality.
Contact a certified elder law attorney(*), such as Linda Strohschein and her team at Strohschein Law Group, for assistance with creating an estate plan with an experienced attorney that meets your unique needs. To set up an appointment, contact Strohschein Law Group at 630-377-3241.
This information provided by Strohschein Law Group is general in nature and is not intended to be legal advice, nor does it constitute a legal relationship. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
(*) The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and the CELA designation is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois.