There are many ways to learn the basics of estate planning. The internet in particular offers a vast wealth if information regarding the topic. However, estate planning is a detailed and tedious process that requires experience and legal knowledge. Individuals, therefore, should avoid trying to undertake the process alone. Here, the estate planning attorneys at Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger, P.A have provided three reasons why you should not DIY your estate plan.
You Are Risking Your Assets
If you have worked, invested and saved tirelessly throughout your life, you do not want to risk losing these assets after you pass. There are many different details you need to take into account in planning your estate to ensure that your assets are passed along according to your wishes. Simply creating a will is not enough, and the laws governing estate planning can be confusing.
Your Wishes May Not Be Communicated Properly
There are many ways to communicate your wishes in the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated. Documents such as powers of attorney and advance directives can direct others regarding your interests if you are unable to speak for yourself. However, each of these legal documents are different, and often are only relevant in specific situations. For example, a power of attorney may allow a loved one to speak on your behalf with bank representatives or real estate agents, but you will need to establish a durable power of attorney in order to grant your loved one the legal power to speak for you if you become mentally incapacitated. Whereas you may not understand the intricacies of each if you choose to ‘do it yourself’, an experienced attorney can outline which documents you should include in your estate plan, considering your unique situation.
A Bad Estate Plan Can Cause Lasting Trouble
An improperly planned estate can cause significant hardship for your surviving family members. If you do not account for all of your assets and property through using proper legal documents, your loved ones may be forced to argue the division or liquidation of your assets in court. Probate court can be a long and costly process that creates familial tension and stress. Instead of leaving your legacy to be decided by the courts, consult with an estate planning attorney who can ensure that all of your affairs are in order and your assets are pre-allocated in a way that is best for you and your loved ones.
Consulting with a skilled estate planning and administration attorney adds significant assurance and peace of mind to the process. The attorneys at SLH help clients to preserve personal wealth and plan for its transfer in a manner that achieves personal objectives while minimizing costs. Contact us to learn more about estate planning and administration in Maryland, or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.