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Pitfalls of DIY Estate Plans

Handwriting an estate plan on your own is never a good idea. All too often estate planners are requested to review planning documents that were prepared at home either independently or by the use of forms available online.

Why are handwritten estate plans risky? The vast majority of the time, these documents are fundamentally invalid and will not produce the intended outcome desired by the individual. At minimum, the documents will often require court intervention to be appropriately modified in order to achieve what is perceived as the intended purposes of the decedent. Often these documents will not avoid a probate proceeding which is the core purpose of trust planning. Legal fees can add up quickly and will greatly outweigh the minimal costs of preparing an estate plan with an attorney who can guide you through the process, tailor your plan to your individual needs and the requirements of the law, and ensure that your documents will achieve their intended purposes.

Make sure you make a choice that is not only good for you, but your family and loved ones as well.   Proper estate planning will ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.  Avoid a long, costly, and emotionally challenging process, like probate, with a proper estate plan.  Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Chauvel & Glatt to find out more about a legally compliant will, trust and other essential documents to make sure your wishes are accomplished.

The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.


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