The COVID pandemic has caused many people to prepare for the worst and encouraged them to get their affairs in order. A major part of this has been estate planning and. in a time where social distancing is being encouraged, meeting an attorney at his or her office may sound less than ideal, many people are turning to the internet in an attempt create their own wills.
The convenience of a DIY will may sound great, but by speaking with an actual attorney, you may be alerted to questions and concerns that you did not even know to consider, and it may help you avoid some costly mistakes. Your specific situation may not be as straightforward as you think it is; Do you have children? Are you married? Maybe divorced and remarried? What happens if one of your designated heirs passes away before you do? Each of these factors can have a huge impact on how your estate gets distributed.
Another thing to consider is that estate law varies by the state you live in. When someone passes away, the probate court has to approve the will, different courts in different states will take different factors into account to approve it, but if the will falls short of any criteria, the will be ruled invalid, and state intestacy laws will govern the distribution of the estate. The last thing you want is for your will to be invalidated and have the state decided who gets your house, car, bank accounts, etc. You have worked hard for your assets and want them to be distributed as you see fit, so it’s probably worth working with a estate planning attorney in your area to make sure that your bases are covered, and no issues overlooked.
Lastly, you should consider the cost of any mistakes that occur. Drafting your own will is not like doing your own taxes. If you make a mistake on your taxes, the IRS will let you know and let you correct it. Filing an amended tax return is one thing, but if you make a mistake in estate planning, it will probably go unnoticed until after your death. Since you wont be able to correct it then, it will fall to your family to clean up whatever issues there are, which can be a very complicated and drawn out affair.
Essentially, you don’t know what your don’t know. While what you don’t know about estate planning may not effect you, if issues are not addressed while you are alive, it can be very complicated to address after you have passed away.
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It’s never too early to begin estate planning. No one knows what the future holds, but with a plan in place that provides for your own future needs and those of your loved ones, you can proceed with peace of mind. If you or a friend or loved one are considering estate planning for the first time, or are in need of updating an existing plan, please contact the attorney at Skillern Law Firm, PLLC by phone at 918-805-2511 or email@example.com. Feel free to also book an appointment with our firm using our Book an Appointment Online page!