Do-it-yourself wills could result in unpredictable events

As people grow older, they might be more aware of the need to make an estate plan. While everyone should have some form of estate plan, as people grow older they become more aware of the need for a will and other planning documents. These documents are crucial in ensuring a person's wishes are followed.

Sometimes people feel that these documents might be costly to produce or they don't want another person handling their business. So, they turn to do-it-yourself estate planning documents that they find online. These documents must be prepared properly in order to avoid unintended events after a person passes away.

When a person dies, their will and estate plan will provide instructions to their heirs as to what should be done with their assets. Because the person isn't alive anymore, these documents must be properly worded to avoid any confusion. If there is debate over what the intentions of the person were with their estate plan, the family of the person might find themselves in a legal argument. This can result in a judge having to decide who gets which assets, and might also result in hurt feelings.

Speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney can help avoid these conflicts. Although do-it-yourself documents might seem easier and cheaper, they can result in expensive conflicts for heirs. It is also important for people to discuss their estate plans with those who are included or even excluded, to help avoid potential conflicts. Explanations might help prevent conflict between family members or friends.

Source: Fox News, "Duck Estate Planning Fiascos Before It's Too Late," Sheyna Steiner, May 13, 2013


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