Many people are tempted by do-it-yourself estate planning tools as a way to save time and money. But rarely does an online form fulfill its intended purpose. Unfortunately, many people find this out the hard way.
Three Reasons Why You Need an Attorney
Here are three reasons why it may not be in your best interests to prepare your own will, trust, power of attorney, health care directive, living will or other estate planning document:
1. The law is ever-changing: You run the risk of having an outdated estate plan or one that is based on outdated laws. If this happens, your will may not be valid.
2. Unintended consequences: Without an attorney reviewing your estate planning documents, you may not get what you think you're getting. Including one piece of inaccurate information could undo the whole document.
3. Problems in probate: Rarely have we seen a do-it-yourself will or a will from the Internet successfully probated. What may seem like a money-saving option now may end up costing you or your family in the long run.
We invite you to come in for a consultation where we can discuss your estate planning options. Our services go beyond those of most estate planning lawyers. Our business background allows us to analyze clients' financial situations in a way that most lawyers can't. This gives clients value-added service in customizing an estate plan that keeps in mind their individual financial goals.
Can I Administer an Estate Without an Attorney?
While it is possible to administer an estate without attorney representation, we do not advise it. Estate administration, also called probate, is a complex legal process that requires an estate administrator to settle the matters of the deceased. Deadlines and legal requirements must be met for the process to be valid. If something goes wrong, the estate administrator could be held personally responsible.
Don't Do It Yourself — Contact Us
To find out how Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky can help you with estate administration, contact our law firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We can also explain what estate planning documents may be appropriate for you and your family.