Minnesota Wills | The Dangers Of Estate Planning On Your Own

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on August 9, 2017

Minnesota Wills and TrustsMany people understand the importance of creating an estate plan and the risks that can come from failing to do so. In an attempt to get their ducks in a row, some might decide to try a DIY approach, going online and paying some internet legal document creation company for a template will, trust or power of attorney.

Though the desire to save money by doing things yourself is understandable, it’s important to know that this can end up causing trouble and even costing more money down the road than if youd hired a skilled professional estate planning attorney from the start. This is especially true for those with significant assets or complicated estates. To better understand when DIY is a bad idea, keep reading.


Doing an estate plan on your own can make sense in certain cases. If you’re single, if you haven’t been previously married, if you don’t have many assets, if you don’t need a trust and if you don’t have children that need to be specially provided for you may not have a very complicated estate. However, this doesn’t work for many people who often have one or more of the above-mentioned factors at play.

Can you live with risk?

This may seem like a funny question, but it’s a very important one. If you decide to go ahead and create a plan on your own, are you the kind of person who is able to live with the risk that you might have forgotten something? For some people, the fear that they’ve left something (or someone) important out would be a serious problem. By hiring a professional estate planning attorney, you’re paying for quality work and for the assurance that all the issues have been covered. You know that what you’re getting is right and isn’t likely to be picked apart after you’re gone. The same might not be true of a plan you put together yourself and you have to decide if that’s something you can accept.

Is there likely to be a legal battle?

This is another question that few people ask themselves, but many more should. If you are creating a will that’s straightforward and isn’t likely to be seen as controversial, there’s likely little risk of a legal dispute and it may be possible to get away with doing things on your own. If, on the other hand, you’re giving a large amount of money to a charity, instead of your kids, or if you’re giving money to some family members, but not others, you should be prepared for a battle to ensue. In these kinds of cases it becomes highly likely that there will be a legal challenge and it is more important than ever that the documents be drafted perfectly. In litigious circumstances, turning to a professional is key to ensure that your wishes are enforced.

An experienced Minnesota estate planning lawyer can help walk you through the complicated process of establishing a workable estate plan. For more information on estate planning in Minnesota, along with a variety of other topics, contact Joseph M. Flanders of Flanders Law Firm at (612) 424-0398.

Source: “DIY Estate Planning Has Its Risks,” by Cheryl Winokur Munk, published at WSJ.com.

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