Today, many tools and unlimited information regarding estate planning is available online. As a result, a greater number of people are gradually bypassing employing the services of a financial planner for documentation work. You might think it is a good idea from the point of view of a consumer as it helps with cost-cutting. However, the fact is that even if you do escape the initial costs associated with hiring a professional, the DIY method of documenting might not be the best option for estate planning.
An online estate-planning form cannot meet the specific needs of each individual family and it is not possible to customize the form to fit your requirements. Here are a few reasons to prove the point further:
It is not easy to keep a track of the constantly changing legal system. You might get lucky and find an estate form, which suits your needs for now. However, it does not necessarily mean that it is an updated form and meets the existing state law requirements.
In the absence of the support offered by an attorney, you could be at a loss if and when laws change. Your document could be considered invalid legally in such case.
DIY forms have minimal scope for customization
DIY forms are generic and typically work on the ‘one-size fits all’ approach. Every estate is different from the other and your beneficiaries could have specific needs that may have to be addressed.
You may not be aware of certain vital asset security benefits for your beneficiaries and may forgo them. You may even wish to include your stepchildren in your property. You might have some unique assets for passing down, which may call for custom planning. It only means that a common online estate plan may not work well for you.
Different laws for different states
In contrast to federal laws, there is significant variation in state laws, particularly with regards to taxes, probate and trusts. In fact, the variations in state laws can be so many and so specific that any online form would fail to cover the laws for each and every state. So if you wish to do your estate planning in a systematic and hassle-free manner, it is best to check with an estate-planning attorney from your particular state as he/she would be aware of all current state-specific laws.