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DIY trends may not suit estate planning

Apr 16, 2019
3 min read

Leaving your family without a plan when you are unable to care for yourself or after you are gone will result in anxiety and confusion for your loved ones. Putting your wishes down on paper when it comes to end-of-life care and how you want your final affairs handled after your passing can give you peace of mind and allow your family to feel more comfortable knowing that you have provided them with valuable instructions.

When it comes to creating the plan itself, you have many options you could utilize. However, some options may prove more beneficial than others. For instance, online resources that allow for do-it-yourself estate planning may have more negative aspects than positive ones.

Incorrect or missing information

You may believe that online estate planning sites are managed by reputable parties or possibly even legal professionals. That is not always the case. In fact, some sites can have missing or incorrect information that could lead to serious issues for your estate plan. Sites could mislabel documents or may not even provide useful planning tools.

Additionally, these DIY sites often assume that you already know the planning tools you want to use. If you are like most people, though, you likely do not have extensive knowledge regarding the available documents you could use in your plan. As a result, you may use the wrong documents or fail to include a useful document because you did not know it was an option.

Greater possibility for mistakes

In addition to missing out of useful planning tools, you may also face a greater chance of making errors with your estate plan if you do it yourself. Online sites typically want to reach as many people as possible, and as a result, the language of their documents is typically not state specific. Plus, they may not fully explain what a document is for or how to make sure it is legally binding.

For your estate plan to be enforceable in Ohio, it needs to adhere to state laws regarding certain rules on execution. Using online planning options may not give you that assurance, and if a mistake with your plan makes it unenforceable under state law, your family can be left in a tough spot. Though it is wise to consider all available planning options, you may want to take the time to enlist professional assistance for tasks as important as estate planning. Experienced attorneys, like those at BHMK, are available to provide such help.

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