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Are there concerns over DIY estate planning?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2021 | Estate Planning

A last will and testament is not the only document that a Louisiana resident may wish to put together when involved with estate planning steps. Other estate-related contractual agreements could support decisions and directives for someone still alive. Do-it-yourself approaches to estate planning may prove self-defeating, however.

Louisiana law guides estate planning procedures

Executing contracts and probating wills require adherence to Louisiana law, or else these documents may face challenges or even prove invalid. “Small” steps like signing a will or power of attorney aren’t so minor. Left unsigned, estate documents are not valid. Many people likely know they must sign a will, but did they date it? Having no date renders the will unacceptable in Louisiana. Familiarity with state law is beneficial when drawing up contracts, so individuals will want to consult an estate plan attorney.

Other problems may arise when crafting a will in one’s home without professional oversight and assistance. Concerns about witnesses or whether the will reflects the testator’s true wishes may appear. Problems with the wheel could lead to challenges even though the testator would not want anything contested.

Other aspects of estate planning

One do-it-yourself path concern could entail not realizing all the many aspects involved. For example, a pet trust might be necessary to care for an individual’s animals. A traditional will might be insufficient. For that matter, is a will the best choice in light of the testator’s heirs and beneficiaries? Maybe a trust would be preferable.

Other documents include power of attorney agreements, a health care proxy and a living will. An attorney-in-fact has much authority over many matters but not health and wellness-related ones. For this reason, there may be a necessity to create a health care proxy or living will.

Professional estate planning is a better alternative to DIY options. An attorney may help a client understand the law and avoid creating weak documents in order to ensure that the client’s wishes are carried out.