Why DIY Estate Plans Often Fail

 When it comes to estate planning, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tools like online platforms and smartphone apps seem to offer it all — convenience, flexibility, and affordability. However, these tools often come with DIY estate planning risks that can cause plans to fail when they are needed most. In this article, we’ll look at common DIY estate planning pitfalls, highlighting the need for proper execution and the expertise of estate planning professionals.

The Estate Planning Industry   

With record numbers of Baby Boomers retiring, and the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act sunsetting at the end of 2025, estate planning attorneys and CPAs are meeting the challenge. These experts provide customized advice to help clients manage their estates and navigate legal complexities, while developing strategies that protect clients’ assets, reduce taxes, and optimize their financial legacy. This integrated approach is essential for effective estate planning.

Estate planning professionals can also help clients avoid the risks and failures of DIY estate plans, which often fall short due to several key issues:

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  1. Improper Execution. Many people fail to properly execute their DIY estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, by not following legal requirements like witnessing and notarization. This oversight renders the documents legally invalid.
  2. Incomplete Funding and Re-titling. A common mistake is not properly funding trusts or re-titling assets to the trust’s name. Without these steps, the assets may still go through probate, negating the benefits of having a trust.
  3. No Customization. DIY plans often fail to accommodate individual needs and unique family situations because they provide a one-size-fits-all solution that may not address specific family dynamics or asset distributions effectively.

Estate planning professionals offer a level of expertise and personal attention that DIY options simply cannot match. They are skilled at identifying issues early on and crafting tailored solutions. With their help, clients can make sure their estate is managed well and their wishes are followed correctly.

The Assistance You Really Want

While DIY programs may seem appealing for their ease and cost-effectiveness, the disadvantages of using services like LegalZoom for estate planning can be significant. Nothing replaces the professional estate planning assistance provided by experienced attorneys and CPAs. Contact Rod Hatley of Hatley Law Group, A P.C to ensure that your estate plan is not only tailored to your unique needs but also legally sound and effectively executed.

San Diego Estate Planning

San Diego Estate Planning

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