Elderly couple looking at estate planning documents

DIY Estate Planning: What Are the Risks?

Estate planning is a critical step in ensuring the well-being of your loved ones. It is also the surest means of securing your legacy. Like other significant steps you will take in your life, planning your estate requires the advice of those who have knowledge, expertise, and experience in this particular area. It does not lend itself to slapdash do-it-yourself shortcuts. If you are planning your estate in Southeastern Massachusetts, we recommend contacting the talented attorneys of Surprenant & Beneski, P.C

Our legal team has the excellent credentials and well-honed skills to make sure you consider all viable options and make your decisions based on legally sound principles and the specifics of your finances, your personal goals, and the factors that make your family unique. Now is not the time to engage in risk-taking by using cookie-cutter online forms. Contact us for a consultation that will clarify the process and make sure you accomplish exactly what you intend.

Why You Need a Skilled Estate Planning Attorney Not a DIY Website

Estate planning is much more than just drafting a will. It involves a comprehensive understanding of state laws, tax implications, and the ability to foresee and mitigate 

potential future disputes. Our skilled estate planning attorneys will provide you with the detailed understanding you need to make sure your estate plan is not only legally sound but also tailored to your specific circumstances.

Services DIY Directions Do Not Provide But Our Educated Attorneys Do

Unlike prefabricated directions, our informed estate planning attorneys meet legal licensing requirements and have a comprehensive understanding of how to protect you, your property, and your family. We will:

  • Listen carefully to the details of your finances and the particulars of your family situation to recommend appropriate measures, such as a will-based or trust-based estate plan.
  • Find ways to avoid the costly, protracted process of probate for you if you have a high-net-worth estate.
  • Identify recommendations that will support any long-term care or incapacity needs that arise.
  • Establish trusts to protect your assets from excessive taxation, prevent special needs beneficiaries from losing their government benefits, and for other important reasons.
  • Draft your will to your specifications in clear, concise, unambiguous language to avoid future disputes or contests.
  • Help you plan for streamlined business succession.
  • Inform you of the intricacies of Massachusetts’ state laws and federal laws that may affect your choices so that you avoid unnecessary complications.

Also, because we have extensive experience with all kinds of family constellations — married, unmarried, divorced, remarried, blended, estranged — and in-depth knowledge of issues that arise in each, we can provide a human touch when it comes to offering advice about how best to handle quarrels or confusion.

Estate Planning Mistakes Our Legal Team Will Help You Avoid

DIY estate planning often leads to oversights and errors that can be costly and stressful for your heirs to resolve. By partnering with our legal team, you can avoid common pitfalls such as:

  • Improperly drafted or executed documents that may render your estate plan invalid.
  • Inadvertently creating an estate plan that provokes conflicts among family members.
  • Neglecting to execute a will, power of attorney, health care proxy, HIPAA release, or other vital document in time for it to be available when urgently needed.
  • Designating an unsuitable person as your personal representative (executor), e.g. an individual who is not up to the tasks in terms of financial or organizational skills.

The Takeaway

Estate planning is a process leading you into your future, helping you to prepare for your child’s education, your comfortable retirement, the potential incapacity of you or your spouse, and the meaningful support of those you love most. This process is not a DIY, generic project. It requires an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact us now to find the right one for you.