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Your DIY Estate Plan: Cost-Effective or Cost-Intensive?

Your DIY Estate Plan: Cost-Effective or Cost-Intensive?

According to an article in the U. S. News & World Report, some DIY projects help increase a home’s value, while others should be done by professionals. Many homeowners can tackle simple landscaping, for example, but should hire an experienced landscaper for the big stuff. Still, DIY projects are popular. Home center stores sold about $235 billion dollars in merchandise to do-it-yourselfers in 2017. In some cases, though, buying materials to make something doesn’t pay off. Like buying $100 worth of yarn and other supplies to make a sweater you can buy in the store for much less. People who use DIY estate planning sites may think it’s cost-effective, not realizing it can really be cost-intensive.

Cost-effective vs. Cost-intensive?

Something that’s cost-effective provides good results without costing a lot of money.

The term cost-intensive on the other hand can mean high-priced or expensive.

DIY estate plans at first may seem cost-effective because they may cost less than going to an estate planning attorney. In the long run, however, there’s a good chance that DIY plans will cost more in an increase tax bill or payment of legal fees to probate assets that could have been transferred a better way.

Why would cheap DIY plans be cost-intensive?

By attempting to develop estate plans themselves, people miss out on the chance to get real advice from a qualified attorney. Consequences of DIY estate planning include:

  • Lost estate assets due to lack of asset protection strategies.
  • Missed opportunities to reduce taxes.
  • Failing to take special circumstances into account.
  • Inability to consider the ‘big picture’ like an experienced lawyer would.
  • No incapacity or disability planning.
  • Not setting up ways to avoid probate.
  • Forgetting to prepare a business succession plan, if a business owner.

Any one of these omissions could cost you in the long run.

Some jobs are too important to do on your own.

People sometimes tackle do-it-yourself projects simply because they enjoy knitting a sweater or putting a new deck on their home. Estate planning is more like trying to rewire your house or put in a new plumbing system or perform heart surgery – it’s better left to professionals.

Leave a quality plan for your loved ones.

One of the really unfortunate things about using DIY estate planning is that you may never know how deficient those cheap estate planning documents were. Your heirs and executor will find out soon enough, though.

The attorneys at Keystone Law use their estate planning experience to help clients like you decide which estate planning documents they need. Call us at (480) 209-6942 or visit our website at to check out some of our free seminars. Serving the greater Chandler area, including Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Mesa, and Tempe.

Posted on: March 13th, 2018 by Sheryl Keeme   Estate Planning
"Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22