You’re right. There’s a lot of resources online. There’s a lot of information, and boilerplate forms, and information products, and now it’s easier than ever to access information. Sure, you can download a template, fill in your name and the names of your loved ones, and sign the back page, and feel better. But you simply don’t know that what you’ve done is going to be sufficient to protect your family, because you don’t know whether you’ve thought of everything – from major issues to minor contingencies – that could happen from now until the day you leave this world. You don’t know the law in North Carolina – it’s as simple as that.
You wouldn’t replace your HVAC system yourself – so why would you make such a substantial decision to potentially risk the safety and security of your family after you’re no longer around to protect them? DIY may work for many different endeavors, but Estate Planning should not be one you roll the dice with.
You can install laminate flooring in your kitchen by yourself (I know, because I have). If you screwed up a little here and there (guilty), it’s not a big deal. It may cost you a little more, but you can always fix it because it’s just a floor. If you do your Estate Planning yourself – whether it’s a simple will or a full trust plan – you may never have the chance to fix your mistakes. Your family will be left cleaning up the mess that was left. To be clear – you would never intentionally do something to set your family up for failure, but again, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong.
There’s a reason why an entire industry of flooring and HVAC specialists exists – because it’s a specialized skill and high quality depends on specialization. The same is true for Estate Planning. Estate Planning Attorneys have knowledge, experience, and foresight to create Estate Plans that will cover all contingencies and “what ifs” and protect your family no what happens to you or them. And they have a passion for doing that. For working with families, and businesses, and individuals – young and old. For getting through the uncomfortable nature of the topic and making it about empowerment and control rather than death and sadness.
So, before you click download – think about what you don’t know.