DIY Estate Planning Software

March 4, 2011

For a number of reasons more and more people have been engaging in do-it-yourself projects over the last several years, and in the big picture this would have to be viewed as a positive development. It can be fun and rewarding to roll up your sleeves and take on a DIY project that improves your home or simply enhances your quality of life in some way. Some people choose to build on their DIY successes and become rather serious hobbyists, and this is a great way to spend some time constructively and save some money while you're doing it.
The fact that you can find information on virtually any subject instantly by popping the term into a search engine has helped fuel the DIY craze, but is important to pick your spots. There are some things that make for good do-it-yourself projects, but there are others that are better left to the experts and estate planning would fit into the latter category.
When you are surfing the web looking for information on estate planning you will invariably see some websites selling estate planning software and do-it-yourself will kits. They claim that all you have to do is fill in the blanks and you'll be good to go, but the fact is that there's no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" legal document that you can truly count on being legally binding in every jurisdiction.
Plus, each individual estate is different and the correct combination of legal instruments that is appropriate for you may be different from that required by the next person. These software programs and general templates can't evaluate the intricacies of your financial situation and the details of your wishes and make recommendations that are specifically designed for you and your family.
There's nothing wrong with doing your research and using the Internet wisely to gain a basic understanding of estate planning principles. But when it comes actually executing the documents that you will be relying on for the transfer of assets to your loved ones upon your death you would do well to engage the services of a licensed legal professional.

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