Estate Planning Myth #3: All I need I can find on legal zoom

/ April 11, 2014

Man & Woman at Laptop - iStockYes, there are forms out there, and yes, many documents that attorneys draft begin from a template or form. However, consider these two major points for discussion with this myth: first, the law is full of variation from state to state and forms may or may not be drafted with your state’s peculiarities in mind, and the law is full of terms of art and seemingly simple phrases or words that included or omitted can have unintended consequences. Drafting documents with an understanding of the state-by-state variations and interpretations is what attorneys are trained to do.

Second, estate planning is not only a Will: there are other documents involved, including documents for incapacity planning (a Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive), and documents you will want coordinated with the directions you provide in your Will, like beneficiary designations for your qualified plans. Finally, if there are special circumstances in your life – like a  second marriage or a beneficiary with special needs – you may wish to include specific trust provisions above and beyond what you may be aware of as options for your circumstances.

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