Alexandria, VA Estate Planning Blog

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do It Yourself Estate Planning

Recently I reviewed and article on US news titled The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning. In response, I have posted the following:


The title is more than a little misleading. I was expecting the article to rip into the Legal Zooms of the world. I have to say, I was disappointed. 


Under no circumstances is it prudent for any person to, with forethought and time, forgo planning with an estate planning professional. Yes, that expressly excludes general practitioners who can be just as dangerous.  


Certainly every person, regardless of wealth, needs competent advice for incapacity planning. The costs of these documents aren't unreasonable. If a client doesn't have much money, many attorneys will do it for little or no cost.


Further, poorer individuals still have the same personal and family problems. Consequently, because of their lack of financial means, their and their families’ need for planning may often be much greater. Additionally, because they don't have a lot of assets, inexpensive methods can be used to reduce costs & expenses related to the planning and the client's death.


The argument that individuals of lesser means likely don't have serious issues worthy of planning is ridiculous. Such an argument is frequently premised on ignorance. The unaware claim that a person's estate planning needs correlate with the amount of wealth they have acquired. Additionally, people claim that the costs of planning are too great, and as noted above, that frequently isn't the case. 


However, it certainly creates a great narrative for justifying companies like Legal Zoom. 



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