Do It Yourself Estate Planning – Gone Wrong
By: Anne R. Moses, Esq., CELA
Beginning your estate plan requires that you follow certain tips:
If you prepare your own Will from a form on the web, you have no legal advice, and no one is checking to make sure the information is complete and correct. You will not be able to take advantage of the knowledge an estate planning attorney can provide about income and estate taxes and other options that may be available – such as certain trusts to protect minors or disabled individuals, to protect profligate spouses or children; to minimize capital gains tax; to protect an elderly person from financial abuse; and to ensure that a subsequent marriage by your spouse will not undermine your plan.
Here is a list of some of the simplest mistakes that I have encountered, and the family comes to me, after your death, to settle everything:
I’m just getting started! Protect yourself and your family. Don’t try this at home. Engage an attorney who knows what he or she is doing about estate planning; who will ask the right questions and give you the opportunity to think through the issues as you may never have before. Does it cost money? Yes. So does fixing the mistakes! And it’s a lot more money than the original plan.
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Anne R. Moses, Esq., CELA
Moses & Moses, P.C.
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