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Caution: Beware of DIY Estate Planning

risks of DIY estate planning

We hear this question about DIY estate planning all the time: “Can’t I just grab a will off the internet, do a transfer-on-death deed for my land, put my kids on my bank account, and be done with my estate plan?”

DIY estate planning is just not a good idea. For the plan to work as you would want it to, it should account for plenty of complications. A good plan should protect your spouse and your children from loss of valuable government benefits, if anybody is or becomes disabled. The plan should avoid the delay and expense of probate court. The plan should protect money from children’s creditors or divorce or remarriage. It should be crafted to serve family harmony and to avoid disputes between children as joint owners. 

Risks of DIY Estate Planning

Even a relatively simple situation is made up of many moving parts. Internet documents and joint-ownership devices just won’t do the job. 

Also, assembling the moving parts so they work smoothly is just the first step. Your estate plan needs maintenance too, just like your car has a “check engine” light. Major family events like serious illness or death, marriage, birth, or financial reversals are alerts that you should tune up your plan to reflect those changes. Your plan shouldn’t be “one and done.” 

To learn more about the risks of DIY estate planning, click here

We are here to help.

It takes expertise to coordinate the various strategies available. Don’t risk a result that will cause your family problems and unnecessary expense. Call Andre O. McDonald, a knowledgeable Howard County, Montgomery County and District of Columbia estate planning, special-needs planning, veterans pension planning and Medicaid planning attorney, at (443) 741-1088; (301) 941-7809 or (202) 640-2133. We can help you create a plan that harmonizes the moving parts of your estate plan, so the gears will work together and you will leave the legacy you intended.

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE.

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For help with estate planning, special needs planning, elder law or Veteran's Pension Planning needs throughout Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore County; and Baltimore City, contact McDonald Law Firm, LLC.

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McDonald Law Firm, LLC

Columbia Office

10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy, #420
Columbia, MD 21044-3563

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(By Appointment Only)

7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800 West
Bethesda, MD 20814

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2101 L Street, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037

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