Do I Really Need an Attorney to Draft My Estate Planning Documents?

Would you hire an accountant to help manage a tax audit, or research it yourself and hope for the best? Do you need a contractor to remodel your kitchen, or would you watch a few YouTube videos on remodeling and grab a sledgehammer to start the demolition? In both of these scenarios, while you may be able to do it yourself, you are taking a major risk of making costly errors that have far-reaching ramifications. The same is true of estate planning. You can find DIY estate planning documents online for minimal or no cost, but you are taking a tremendous risk in doing so.

Benefits of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

Everyone’s life situation is unique. An estate planning attorney will carefully consider the details of your family life, financial situation, charitable interests, and wishes for how to distribute your hard-earned money when developing your estate planning documents. They will plan for contingencies and situations that you may not currently foresee. They also stay up-to-date on any changes in the law to ensure that your documents are legally correct. A “fill-in-the-blanks” legal template cannot accomplish this. This is especially true if you have a complicated family situation or complex estate. Some examples of these complexities include:

  • Having a second or third marriage;
  • Having minor children;
  • Having heirs with special needs;
  • Disinheriting a child;
  • Owning a business;
  • Having more than $1 million of assets;
  • Leaving money to charity; and
  • Having a family member that can be difficult, litigious, or that you expect to contest your estate plan

Moreover, an estate planning attorney will make recommendations for you to consider on the best ways to structure your estate so that your heirs and beneficiaries can avoid taxes and Probate (the legal process of distributing assets after a person’s death). This can save them thousands of dollars, and provide them with access to your assets much more quickly. DIY documents cannot do this.

In addition, an estate planning attorney will ensure that all your documents are properly executed. For example, a Will must be properly signed, witnessed, and notarized. This may seem trivial, but if this is not completed correctly, the court will render the Will invalid and your estate will be treated as if you died intestate (without a Will). DIY documents don’t have a mechanism to ensure that all these legal technicalities are properly fulfilled.

You’ve spent a lifetime building up your estate. You owe it to yourself to invest in properly written and executed estate planning documents in case you become incapacitated and for distribution of your assets after your death. Huth, Pratt and Milhauser specializes in developing customized estate planning documents to facilitate a smoother experience for you and your family. Call us today to learn how we can help you plan for the future.

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser is a boutique law firm that offers a wide range of legal services in the specialty areas of wills, trusts, estates, probate, guardianship, and related matters. The range of legal services that Huth, Pratt & Milhauser provides in these specialty areas includes planning, administration and litigation. The experience and skills of our attorneys and staff, coupled with our knowledge of applicable law, enable us to provide outstanding representation to our clients.

Although we are located in South Florida, we proudly serve clients throughout the country and around the world from our Boca Raton offices. We strive to provide superior and focused counsel in a timely manner and at a competitive price.

Huth, Pratt and Milhauser

2500 North Military Trail, Suite 460

Boca Raton, Florida   33431

Phone: 561-392-1800


2500 North Military Trail, Suite 460
Boca Raton, Florida   33431
Phone: 561-392-1800

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