Creating or updating existing estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney, and related tools, is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your wishes will be honored when you die or if you become unable to manage your affairs. There is no shortage of do-it-yourself options for estate planning in today’s digital age.
It is natural to be tempted by the seemingly low cost to use an online service provider to prepare your legal documents. However, doing so could result in your estate plan not doing what you want it to do. Hiring an estate planning attorney, Waltham MA, to prepare and help execute your legal documents is a wise decision for a variety of reasons:
- Update documents when necessary or appropriate. Wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents should not be something you prepare once and never revisit. As life events occur or your financial situation changes, it’s essential to make sure your plan and related documents still do what you want. If you have estate planning documents already, your attorney should review them carefully to determine whether any updates are necessary, given your goals and wishes. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes a simple codicil to a will or amendment to a trust will fit the bill. In other situations, it may make more sense to re-evaluate your estate plan to avoid probate or minimize estate taxes.
2. Ensure your documents will comply with current law. When you work with a licensed estate planning attorney, Waltham MA, you can also be confident your documents will be drafted by current state law. Probate and trust laws are state-specific, and they do change from time to time. Working with a lawyer can give you peace of mind knowing that your plan fits within the parameters of state law.
3. Confidence your documents say what you want them to say. One of the biggest pitfalls of taking a do-it-yourself approach to estate planning is the risk that your documents won’t truly accomplish your goals. The reality is that estate planning jargon can be complex and confusing. If you don’t understand or misinterpret what an online form provider is asking, you will have wasted money on documents that won’t work for your desired outcome. Perhaps worse, most errors in estate planning documents aren’t found out until after someone dies. At that point, it’s too late to make changes. When you work with an experienced estate planning lawyer, you’ll have someone who will work to understand your wishes. They will consider various scenarios to draft documents that accurately reflect your wishes.
4. Trusted resource for future questions for you and your loved ones. Last, but not least, there is valuable peace of mind in establishing a relationship with an estate planning attorney, Waltham MA, who can be there for you down the road. Your attorney can also be a touchpoint and guide for your loved ones after your death or incapacity, helping to ensure the smooth settlement of your estate or administration of your trust.
Simply put, estate planning attorneys provide value in many ways, far beyond merely providing you with printed wills, trusts, or other estate planning documents. Contact an estate planning attorney, Waltham MA, today if you have questions about the process and want to learn more.