DIY Estate Planning? Buyer Beware!

Of the handful of major life events that require your serious consideration, few are as emotionally charged as how to leave your assets for loved ones at the time of your death. This often complex process is accomplished via testamentary documents such as wills and trusts, which are readily available for purchase online as standard forms. The assets you have acquired during your life and the ways that you own them are often far more complex than a standard legal document or online service can anticipate.  When you make that important decision to create a will or put your assets into a trust, you need an experienced estate planning attorney to guide you so that your wishes for life and death can be carried out without risk of your family getting stuck in court or conflict, when it’s too late.

Your incapacity or death will be an emotional time for your family. During this time, they need guidance, not a set of documents, which may not have even been kept up to date or adequately cover after-acquired assets.

In certain cases, such as being married multiple times, having minor children, or owning a small business, legal assistance is especially necessary. There may also be a variety different tax or asset protection implications for your beneficiaries. Is a trust right for your situation? Is there a way to transfer an asset before you pass, so that it will be protected from claims, creditors or taxation? DIY sites can’t help you with that. The right lawyer can advise you on the best way to handle the different assets you own such as real estate, investments, a small business, or personal property.

You may save money initially if you have a simple, small estate with few assets by just using a form that you find online. However, if you become incapacitated before death, your family could get stuck with a long drawn out court process, as they attempt to get control of your financial assets. And if your document is unclear, contestable, or wholly or partially invalid, it’s your family who will be paying the price down the road. You need a plan that protects you and your loved ones.

Attorney Myrna Serrano Setty doesn’t just draft documents, she will work with you so that you can make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and your loved ones. That’s why she offers a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make the best choices for the people you love. Call our office today at (813) 514-2946 to schedule your session today.

 

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