Do-it-yourself estate planning refers to using an online document library to obtain and record your end-of-life wishes.
While seemingly convenient and cost-effective, DIY planning often overlooks the nuances that are essential to creating a customized estate plan, and even simple mistakes can lead to a lengthy, painful probate process.
Basic estate planning documents
Your estate plan should include the following basic directives:
- A last will and testament
- A medical power of attorney and living will
- A general power of attorney
Additionally, a basic estate plan may also include a revocable living trust, which may or may not be necessary for your situation.
While your DIY package may include the necessary documents, you may not know how to complete the paperwork using the specific language needed to exercise certain goals. Without a legal plan in place, the state may determine how to distribute your assets without regard for your wishes.
Commonly overlooked issues
Online estate planning documents apply to general situations, but lack the nuances of the Oregon probate process as well as the individual’s unique circumstances. A few potential problems include:
- Tax implications
- Distribution errors
- Formal objections
If legal fees are a determining factor in your estate planning decision, know that you can mitigate costs by gathering documents and choosing trustees and beneficiaries before meeting with your attorney.
DIY estate planning, if not done appropriately, can be detrimental to your loved ones. Every estate plan is different, and you deserve a custom and comprehensive strategy for carrying out your final wishes without complications.