You may see advertisements online for do-it-yourself estate plans. They tout their services as a simple and frugal way to execute an estate plan.
It is very tempting to take the shortcut of a do-it-yourself estate plan, rather than working with an attorney to execute an estate plan. Yet oftentimes a do-it-yourself estate plan is lacking in one or more key features making it harder to follow and enforce when the time comes.
The problem with fill-in-the-blank forms
Do-it-yourself estate plans often rely on fill-in-the-blank forms. These forms may not be detailed enough to accommodate your complex financial situation. Even if you believe your finances are not very complicated, a do-it-yourself estate plan may not address all your needs.
Some online do-it-yourself estate plans do not include all necessary estate planning documents beyond a basic will. Even those with a modest estate will want a will, possibly a trust, a living will and power of attorney in their estate plan. If any of these documents are missing, it could lead to confusion amongst your heirs regarding what you would have wanted for your end-of-life care, finances and estate.
Attorneys can be valuable estate planning resources
While do-it-yourself estate plans boast time and money savings, they are often lacking in what you really need in an estate plan. If you work with an attorney when executing your estate plan, you can ensure you are working with someone who understands Florida probate law and can help you determine what to include in your estate plan to make it truly comprehensive.