DIY estate plan blog

Dangers of Do It Yourself (DIY) Plans

DIY, or do-it-yourself, has become a common phrase in modern language. And while a DIY attitude may work well to foster creativity for daily life, when it comes to estate planning, DIY can cause devastating complications—which is the last thing you want your family to experience after your death. Phelps LaClair, with locations in Gilbert and Scottsdale, has been helping families develop excellent estate plans for more than 40 years. We’ve seen what works, and we’ve seen what causes many issues. We’ve seen the heartache and distress that can result from do-it-yourself estate planning.

Dangers of DIY Estate Plans

On the surface, do-it-yourself estate planning may seem to be a simpler and more cost-efficient way to create your will or trust. But here’s just a partial list of what can go wrong from attempting to create your own DIY estate plan:

  • Misapplied laws: Laws on estate planning regularly change. Not staying up-to-date on current laws—especially tax laws—may mean you’ll miss out on tax breaks that could have saved your loved ones significant loss.
  • Using the wrong documents: Specific documents are required in order to legally protect your assets, and those documents can vary by state. If you omit a document or don’t include the correct documents when setting up your will or trust, the protection you’re seeking through estate planning could be nullified.
  • Incorrectly prepared documents: Asset protection or distribution may be vulnerable if paperwork is not filled out properly. And specific aspects of your estate planning, like a Special Needs Trust, may not be allowed if the correct documents haven’t been created or applied.
  • Advice: With a do-it-yourself plan there are no trained consultants to walk you through the many details involved in estate planning. But as your legal counselor, your lawyer is able to recommend the best wills and trusts for your circumstances and your family. A lawyer is a key advisor to help you understand each step of the process and to complete all the proper forms and documents for your estate. With years of experience in estate planning, Phelps LaClair can confidently come alongside and create a plan for you that will be executed accurately and achieve the end goal of protecting your assets and your family.


Talk to Us About Your Estate Today!

While saving time and money may initially seem like a great idea, do-it-yourself estate planning is not a good idea. For your best strategic estate planning, contact Phelps LaClair today!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/05/2018) Stacie (Flickr)

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