Estate planning is more than just a document

| Oct 14, 2020 | Estate planning |

Everyone in Wisconsin should have an estate plan in place. These days, there are plenty of ways to develop an estate plan; it’s never been easier to find a will template online and fill it out. There are even low- and no-cost forms for people who want to designate power of attorney. While these forms are a great start, they don’t represent a truly comprehensive estate plan.

The limitations of DIY estate planning

Not everyone has a large estate. Some people may just want to write a short will and leave everything to their spouse. However, even that can get tricky. For example, some people have life insurance policies or other assets that pre-date their marriage. If a different beneficiary is designated on these documents, the assets may not pass to the spouse. This can be true even when there’s a will in place.

When people pay for an attorney to assist with their estate plan, it can seem expensive, and in the short term, it may be. However, working with an experienced lawyer may help to avoid problems in the future. Sometimes, people who do it all themselves don’t ask the right questions as they’re planning. They haven’t been through the process before, so they don’t really know how the court views these issues. A lawyer does.

An experienced estate planning law firm may help their clients design documents that plan for a variety of eventualities. They’ll also remind clients to revisit and update these documents as needed. For example, after the birth of a new child or grandchild, it can be wise to rethink documents like wills and trusts.