Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
California
Estate Planning
& Tax Law
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Website Navigation Menu

Why you should avoid the DIY approach to estate planning: Part I

There are times in life when doing something yourself can save considerable amounts of money. There are other times in which it is necessary and/or smart to seek the help of a professional. Choosing which of these routes to take is often fairly intuitive, but not always.

Estate planning is a good example. Perhaps you think that your estate is not very large or complicated. Therefore, you can just find some free or cheap legal forms online and fill them out yourself. While this may work for some people, DIY estate planning is risky. If wills and trusts are not crafted carefully and worded explicitly, the end result could be family strife, legal disputes and increased tax liabilities. For these and other reasons, most estate plans would greatly benefit from the help of an experienced attorney.

The biggest problem with free online forms is that they are generic templates. They provide general guidance in a process that requires customization and specificity. As just one example, consider how you may need to customize your will and any trusts related to your children.

A fill-in-the blank form might be ok if you were equally dividing assets between all of your children and wanted those assets distributed all at the same time. But this isn't always a good idea if one or more of your children cannot handle money responsibly. Perhaps they suffer from a drug or alcohol problem. Or maybe you wanted the money to pay for their college but you fear that they'll use it on extravagant purchases instead.

In these situations, creating detailed trusts might be the best way to go. A trust can be tailored to give you more control over when your children receive the money (usually by age), and can give guidance as to how the money should be spent.

Please check back later this week as we continue this conversation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us Now to begin your initial consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

FindLaw Network

Office Locations

Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
490 Post Street, Suite 508
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-433-3350
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Map and Directions

Additional Office Locations:
Pleasanton
323 Ray Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: 925-484-0888 
Pleasanton Law Office Map

San Mateo
1900 S. Norfolk Street, Suite 350
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: 415-433-3350
Map and Directions

Sunnyvale
1250 Oakmead Pkwy, Suite 210 
Sunnyvale, CA 94085 
Phone: 888-312-6978 
Map and Directions