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Estate planning using DIY documents can be dangerous

The thought of dying is uncomfortable for many individuals in Texas, which is why making plans for one's estate is often placed on the back burner of people's priorities. However, estate planning is necessary to protect one's assets when one dies. It also helps to prevent infighting among family members after one's death.

People who realize the value of creating estate plans might consider searching for do-it-yourself legal documents on the Web to include with their estate plans. The dangers of using these documents or advice found online, however, is that one can easily make mistakes due to not having all of the information necessary to make educated decisions. Some of these mistakes can unfortunately have major consequences from a financial standpoint.

When it comes to setting up a trust, a common mistake that people make is not funding their trusts with all of the applicable assets. In addition, people may not understand the benefits of having wills versus trusts in their particular cases. Estate planning attorneys in collaboration with wealth managers can help people to determine why they need wills and trusts along with other essential documents, such as powers of attorney.

In addition, an estate plan that a person drafts on his or her own may not be legally sound. For instance, an estate planning document might not be drafted according to the relevant state's statutory requirements, which means the document is considered ineffective. With proper legal guidance, a person in Texas can create an effective estate plan according to his or her unique needs rather than one based on a generic template that may end up being useless down the road.

Source: nwibq.com, "Dangers of DIY Estate Planning", Jerry Davich, July 25, 2016

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