A retired software engineer recently asked me to review a Trust and Will he created using a computer program he found on the internet.
I applauded him for having an attorney review these important documents, as I know many people do this kind of thing and never have an attorney review the documents. But as I reviewed the documents, I noticed there were several important provisions which were missing. As I explained each of these to my client, after about the tenth item, he cut me off and asked me to cut to the chase.
“So just tell me, are these documents worthless?” he asked.
Based on his situation and what he was genuinely trying to accomplish, I told him as politely as possible, “Yep.”
The ensuing grin on his face told me he knew what my answer would be even before I gave it, but somehow he was hoping things would be different.
Can you, like my client, prepare your own legal documents? Sure. Technology has developed in such a way that anyone can get tutorials, how-to videos, and templates for almost any type of project from the convenience of their home computer. Estate planning documents are certainly included on that list. But should you create your own estate planning documents just because technology allows you to do so?
I can buy almost any car part that I want online. I can also buy dental tools and equipment. Same with x-ray imaging equipment. But does that mean I should build my own car, fill my daughter’s cavity, or take an x-ray of my arm? Probably not.
Does this sound facetious? Most likely, but the point I am making is not. The reason we trust specialists with our cars, our teeth, and our bones is because they are specialists, and we are not. Years of training and experience goes into knowing what part to replace and what tool to use. It is the same with estate planning.
So the next time you’re tempted to create do-it-yourself estate planning documents, just remember that as bad as it is to go to the dentist, it would be a whole lot worse trying to give yourself that root canal.
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.