Can I DIY my estate plan?

 In Learning Center

Could you create your estate plan yourself? DIY?

Sure. You could do that. But it’s not the same as going to the hardware store to do some DIY plumbing.

If you need to change some plumbing in your house, you can put together some pipe, valves, and fittings. Then you can turn the water on and you’ll immediately know if you have any leaks. Sounds like a plan.

It’s different when you create a legal document though. There is no equivalent process where you “turn the water on” to see if it all works with your estate plan. If you do have a leak in that new plumbing, you can simply shut the water off and and call a plumber to come fix it all. A probate lawyer is not going to have the same ability to modify your estate plan like a plumber can fix the leaky pipes. The probate lawyer has to go with what’s in the documents.

You don’t have the power to sell in that homemade will? Too bad. Your beneficiaries will have to consent to the sell. That’s going to take time, money, and court approval (which takes more time and money). What if real estate market is hot and it’s a great time to sell mom’s house? Too bad. The executor has to wait until that inventory is approved.

What if the estate administration is going smoothly and everyone consents to everything? It still doesn’t matter. If the power isn’t in the will it’s not in the will. Everyone is going to have to wait.

All of these items are considerations that someone creating their own estate planning documents doesn’t know about.

Here’s the bottom line…it’s not wise to DIY your estate plan. You don’t know what you don’t know.

If you’re ready to quit worrying and get started, click here or call 330-421-6861.