Be Careful! The Dangers of DIY Asset Protection and Estate Planning
You have times when you may want to consider do-it-yourself, but we never recommend it when it comes to asset protection and estate planning. Asset protection and estate planning can turn into complex subjects without the right know-how, and having a skilled and qualified attorney on your side can make a world of difference. You want to hire a professional because it lends you peace of mind knowing that you will be safe. You might practice asset protection through putting it in an asset protection trust.
Don't Leave Your Loved Ones Vulnerable
Doing it on your own, any mistake that you make will leave your loved ones open to problems. You don't want your loved ones unprepared or vulnerable. The high stakes mean that you shouldn't gamble with the future of your loved ones. After all, who will take care of them when you're gone? The courts don't cut any slack when it comes to your loved ones and estate planning. The smaller details matter and having a qualified legal mind who understands what protects and what doesn't can make all the difference. Even if you don't sign the document in the right place, it can mean that the whole legal document is invalid.
One wrong mistake can send your entire family into upheaval. You have to do things 100 percent correct and according to the book to keep them from being susceptible to manipulation. The courts rarely give people benefit of the doubt, and usually, they will interpret things exactly as the document states, which can be highly unfavorable if your loved one took a DIY approach that led to serious mistakes. The courts most likely won't even try to interpret the intent in the document.
Ripping Apart a Family
Not at all uncommon, poor estate planning and asset protection has been known to rip apart families. Families have been known to be permanently shattered because of vicious court battles where everyone in the family fights over things that the deceased may have had. The timing that you choose to protect your asset becomes an essential part of the strategy involved. If you haven't put your assets on lock down, it becomes as good as if you had done nothing at all. A qualified legal professional can help you to navigate these tricky legal waters because it requires someone who understands this field to get the most from it. You want the implementation of your strategy to remain as free of blunders as possible because this ensures that everything happens smoothly.
Families who find themselves in these court battles will never be the same at the end. Even if they do one day patch things up, there will always be that ugly court battle that took place several years ago that gets in the way of them truly feeling free with other family members. For that reason, you need to be wise when planning your estate and asset protection. In this area, you most likely won't get second chances. You have to fully look at the ramifications and consequences of everything. Having a qualified attorney on hand can help you to consider these things without worrying that it will be denied.
Each State Differs
You should understand how the laws in each state will differ. They change all the time. For example, in the state of Massachusetts, you need two neutral parties to witness the signing of your will. You might say that you have a software that can help you with this, but the software will not update itself necessarily each time that the laws change. Only a qualified attorney who specializes in this field in your state can help you to navigate these things.
Plan for Family Disputes
Especially if you know that tension exists within the family, you should plan for this in such a way that it can't be disputed. For example, let's say that you want to leave the house to your son. However, you have a jealous niece who wants to start problems. Without the right legal document, they could come in and cause all sorts of problems. You need a lawyer to write up the will because of how this stops these situations from ever taking place. Don't give them the legal room to make a big squabble. Every estate will be unique, and it will require unique planning because everyone owns different things. In addition, everyone will have unique wishes, and a good estate planning lawyer will understand how each person differs when it comes to this type of planning.
The difference between having a software and a legal professional to handle your business is everything. If you don't pay now, your heirs could wind up paying the biggest price. As legal estate planners, we have seen entire families ripped apart in heartless legal battles where we believe the rightful side walked away in tears. That all came about because of poor planning on the part of the deceased. Don't let this become your family. Especially if you can foresee legal problems coming up, you need someone fully qualified to represent you, and the more net worth you have, the more likely that disputes will arise.