DIY wills and trusts may not be the best option

DIY wills and trusts may not be the best option

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2020 | Wills

Sometimes, in certain circumstances, people in New York who have not engaged in estate planning choose to go with low-cost do-it-yourself options. Digital estate plans are easily accessible and promise to save attorney’s fees. However, none of those digital wills and other related documents are designed to meet the unique needs of every individual who chooses this option.

Although it might seem convenient and less costly, most people do not have the experience to draft estate plans that would bring solutions instead of problems. Many of the legal terms, such as “per capita,” “heirs at law,” and “per stirpes” are unfamiliar but essential, and disregarding them can lead to irreversible complications and damage. Misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the meanings and significance of legal terms can result in the estate owner leaving assets to other than the intended beneficiaries.

Misconstruing disinheritance and no-contest clauses in DIY wills can lead to litigation after the death of the estate owner. Another aspect that cannot be ignored is the tax implications that are involved in estate planning, and without a tax background, the average person may be at a loss when it comes to the potential consequences. Then there is the possibility of inconsistent changes whereby a change made on one page is not carried through to the rest of the document, creating various interpretations and questions.

Another problem could arise when it comes to competent witnesses, formally executing the will and other legal formalities, without which digital wills might be declared invalid. The money saved by choosing self-executed estate planning might not be worth the while in the end. Choosing to utilize the skills of an experienced estate planning attorney is typically the best choice for New York residents who want to have peace of mind in knowing that their estate plans reflect their unique circumstances and wishes.