Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your Will, Trust, And Powers Of Attorney

By Keith Romero |

Wealthcounsel Attorney Member Albuquerque New Mexico

As life is full of unexpected events, creating a Will is one of the most crucial things for an adult to do for their loved ones. By putting down your final wishes on paper, you help your loved ones avoid hassles, and you get the satisfaction of knowing that your possessions will end up in the hands of your heirs or next of kin. It can also help you outline the guardianship of your children in the event of your untimely death.

However, a Will alone may seldom suffice. To ensure your Will is executed as per your specifications, you need to prepare a Trust or Power of Attorney. To prepare a Will, Trust, and Power of Attorney, you need to avail of the services of an experienced lawyer. Unfortunately, enlisting a lawyer to prepare a Will generally costs a minimum of $1000, which can be expensive for many.

In an attempt to cut this cost, some individuals consider preparing their Wills themselves. If you are thinking of doing the same, you might want to think again as DIY legal documents can lead to several pitfalls. To give you an idea of what could go wrong, Keith R. Romero Attorney and Counselor at Law has listed two reasons why you shouldn’t DIY your Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney.

1. Loss of assets

Drafting a vague or ambiguous Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney and failing to consider estate tax consequences or “Stepped-Up Basis” on property transfers, can cost you (your loved ones) a lot of money and even the loss of control over your assets to another person or institution. By this, we mean that even the slightest inaccuracy or in case you neglect specific details, you could invalidate your Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney. Similarly, in the event of your death, your assets are subjected to an estate tax, which can significantly drain the wealth that you leave behind for your loved ones. To prevent this from happening, a Trust and Will specialist can put together a strategy that reduces your tax burden.

2. Financial implications

Apart from the possibility of losing your money to other people or institutions, you and your family may need to bear double the expenses to rectify your paperwork later on. The costs you’ll need to pay will include legal fees, court fees, etc.

Do things right - Hire a professional

If you’re considering preparing your own Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney, you need to be trained in legal analysis, research, and writing. This will help you prepare legal documents that are free of loopholes and sufficiently protect your assets.

If you lack the necessary legal background to prepare adequate legal documents, it’s best to entrust the task to a licensed attorney. Licensed legal professionals are trained to acquire specific skills of tax analysis, Statute analysis, financial analysis, law analysis, and legal writing to help you avoid the pitfalls of a DIY.

When it comes to their fees, there are two fee structures used to charge clients. One is by the hour, and the other is a flat fee. Many lawyers charge by the hour, and some charge a flat fee. The cost of enlisting a licensed attorney begins in the low $1000s and can go up from there, depending on the complexity of your needs. While this may sound pricey, it is well worth it as paying now means you won’t have to lose money later.

For a trusted attorney and counselor at law in Albuquerque, NM, reach out to Keith R. Romero Attorney and Counselor at Law. I help you plan, protect, and provide for your legacy and loved ones. After serving clients for several decades, I have obtained a certain level of nuanced and intuitive instinct, coupled with a firm grasp of the law. I apply this expertise and experience to your requirements to offer ideal solutions and take the stress off your loved ones in the event of your demise. 

To learn more about my services, please click here or get in touch with me by clicking here