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The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning: Why You Shouldn't Try to Handle it Alone

March 5, 2023

Estate planning is a complex and important process that should not be taken lightly. However, many people make the mistake of attempting to create their own estate plan without seeking professional help. While this may seem like a cost-effective solution, it can actually end up costing you and your loved ones much more in the long run. Here are some of the risks of a DIY estate plan:

  1. Inadequate Planning

A DIY estate plan may not cover all of the necessary aspects of your estate planning needs. Without the expertise of an estate planning attorney, you may overlook important details that could cause problems later on. For example, a DIY estate plan may not include necessary provisions for incapacity or asset protection.

  1. Legal Compliance Issues

Estate planning is a legal process, and a DIY approach may not ensure that your plan complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Different states have different requirements for estate planning, and a DIY approach may not be tailored to your specific state's laws. This can cause legal issues and complications for your heirs.

  1. Inadequate Understanding of Taxation

Estate planning often involves complex tax issues, and a DIY approach may not provide a clear understanding of how to minimize taxes. Estate taxes and inheritance taxes can be significant, and without a proper understanding of the tax implications of your estate plan, your loved ones could end up paying more than necessary.

  1. Outdated Documents

A DIY estate plan may not take into account changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of children or grandchildren. An estate planning attorney can help you update your documents as needed to ensure that they reflect your current wishes.

  1. Increased Risk of Disputes

A DIY estate plan may not be clear or detailed enough to prevent disputes among family members. This can lead to costly legal battles and irreparable damage to family relationships.

Attempting to create your own estate plan without professional help can be a risky proposition. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can ensure that your plan is tailored to your specific needs and complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Don't leave your legacy to chance – seek professional help to create a comprehensive and effective estate plan.

This article is a service of The Bushman Law Firm, LLC, and Drew Bushman, serving the Greater Waco area in-person and all of Texas remotely. I don’t just draft documents; I am dedicated to educating out community so they can make informed and empowered decisions to provide for the people they care about and build a legacy worth leaving them. That's why I offer a Family Legacy Planning Meeting, during which my clients get a snapshot of what would happen to their family if something happened to them and then learn what the options are, with all of the associated benefits and risks, so they can decide what kind of estate plan is right for them. If that sounds interesting to you, you can go to my website,, today to schedule a complimentary consultation call.