In this day and age, a recent surge in “do it yourself”-style estate plan options have inundated the market. These boilerplate forms offer an inexpensive, easy way for people to create an estate plan, and some of them do have benefits.
However, these templates often lack in certain crucial aspects and cannot prepare a person in the same way that legal help would. Even today, custom estate plans still rank as the superior choice.
Potential unintended consequences
The National Law Review discusses potential consequences tied to DIY estate plans. Unintended consequences happen often when using these copy-and-paste formats, like using a will template that does not include a residuary clause. This means beneficiaries only have the ability to claim assets listed in the document.
This means that inherited or purchased property obtained after the creation of the will could end up passed on to a parent, spouse or another member of your family. If you do not have a clause allowing for the coverage of unlisted assets, this could create the opportunity for an expensive court battle to occur. This can create fractured interfamily relationships and may even cost more in court fees than what you believe you saved by doing your estate plan yourself.
The importance of legal help
Working with an attorney allows you to write up the estate plan that suits your unique needs and situation best. You can even still choose a boilerplate-style estate plan, but having an attorney working with you will ensure that you do not end up snagged in any of these potential oversights and the problems that might result from them.