Many people enjoy engaging in do-it-yourself projects for a number of different reasons. Obviously you can save some money if you can complete a task on your own rather than bringing in a professional. It can also be fun and personally rewarding to get involved in a DIY project. Some people make a hobby of it and build on specific skills that they acquire as they take on one task after another, purchasing tools or others types of equipment along the way.
DIY is certainly enriching, but you do have to know where to draw the line. We have all seen examples of people biting off more than they can chew either in our own lives or on television shows or movies. If you attempt to do something that is over your head you often create a bigger job than the original one and wind up spending more money in the long run.
This is something to consider when you are doing research online to find information about estate planning. There are websites that exist claiming that anyone can execute their own estate planning documents by simply filling in the blanks on a generic document. Of course the sites that make these claims generally exist because they want to sell you “one-size-fits-all” estate planning kits.
It is a good idea to take pause before you are drawn into these overly simplistic notions. Each jurisdiction is somewhat different and the expectations of the probate courts in Northern California are going to be different than those of Alaska or Alabama. In addition, each situation is unique and the best way to plan an estate is going to vary on a case-by-case basis.
There is such a thing as being penny wise and pound foolish, and do it yourself estate planning schemes would certainly fall into this category. Our office offers free estate planning seminars and free consultations to those who attend. It’s a great way to learn more about estate planning, and to discuss your personal situation with a highly qualified estate planning attorney.