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Why Can’t You Draft Your Own Estate Planning Documents?

The simple answer is “you can” but why would you want to? You may have seen the commercial on TV where a man is on the phone with his doctor who is telling him how to operate on himself and the man says “shouldn’t you be doing this?”

There are many web sites today that offer inexpensive estate planning documents you can download. There is also software available to write your own will or trust. The problem with doing it yourself is that you don’t have the experience, training, and knowledge to know whether you have done a good job and the effect of not doing a good job can be devastating. Many “boilerplate” trusts and other documents contain language that is inappropriate for your situation. Estate planning is not “one size fits all.”

When you hire an experienced estate planning lawyer you are not only paying for the document itself but the training and experience that goes into a properly drafted document. The attorney knows what questions to ask to assist you with decisions such as whether you want clauses about distributions to minors and at what intervals, duty to provide accounts and reports, how to distribute assets if a beneficiary predeceases the trustor, and what clauses are necessary to protect the estate from estate taxes. Deeds need to be prepared to record your real property with the County Recorder and a Preliminary Change of Ownership form needs to be filled out correctly to avoid reappraisal.

At Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation we offer a complimentary consultation to find out what your goals are and make sure the appropriate clauses are in your revocable living trust. We also record deeds to put your real property into your trust and assist you with funding your trust. Read more about what is included in our revocable living trust package and give us a call.

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