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DIY estate planning options may not provide most useful tools

Though you may understand the importance of having an estate plan, you may also feel some reluctance to get started on the process of creating one. The idea of deciding what will happen to your estate after your death may seem a bit morbid for your tastes, and you may simply wish you could avoid the situation altogether. However, because dying intestate can have complications of its own, you may choose to go ahead with the planning process.

Because you may want to get through the process as quickly as possible -- as most Ohio residents do with situations that make them uncomfortable -- you may consider taking a DIY approach to your estate plan. However, this route could pose issues of its own.

Possibility of mistakes

Many of the DIY options available for creating a will and other estate planning documents have a rather cookie-cutter type approach. This layout means that most available forms only offer the most basic information and options. While some individuals may find this enough to address their limited estates, you may need additional documents to express your desires and intentions.

Additionally, while the available information may remain basic, room for confusion still exists. As a result, you could incorrectly fill out a form and not realize it immediately. This type of error could result in that document or your entire plan being considered invalid.

Unique situations

As mentioned, your estate may need more planning than the basic forms allow. Because your estate differs from every other person's estate, the exact tools you may need to create your plan may not exist on a DIY site. You may not even know the most useful tools for your circumstances because DIY programs cannot offer personalized advice like you could gain by utilizing an in-person professional such as an attorney.

Stress on family

Though you may think that creating a DIY estate plan will allow you to quickly and easily let your loved ones know your end-of-life wishes, those same loved ones could face a considerable amount of stress and financial impact if your DIY plan presents issues. As a result, your family could land in the exact situation you hoped to avoid simply because of mistakes made in your plan.

Legal assistance

Though DIY options do exist in an abundance, you may want to give serious thought to consulting with a professional. Estate planning law can prove complicated, and without the right information, your plan could prove less helpful than you desired.

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I am attorney Dorothea J. Kingsbury. I provide good advice and real solutions to challenging problems. I can help you choose and personalize estate planning instruments that meet your family's present and future needs. I can develop elder law strategies that ensure proper care for your loved ones. I can guide you through the probate/estate administration process when a family member has passed away. I can help make sure your interests are protected during your real estate transaction. I am here to make things easier.

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