DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Wills

Posts discussing the effects of creating your own will without a lawyer from software, a book, or online firms.

20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney

Background photo from quickmeme.com

No, for the most part, we don’t starve.  These may also have a “First World Problems” vibe as well.  But as you read the following list, maybe, just maybe, you’ll laugh and perhaps shed a tear too: 1.  The Binding Struggle Pictured to the right.  Choices include 3-ring binders, staples, wire, coil, comb-binding, velo-binding, spiral…

Read more »

Estate Planning Law as a Career: 5 Barriers to Success

5669490355_f9e7f952be_s

On occasion, I receive an email or a phone call from a new attorney asking me about estate planning as a career.  I think it is a wonderful focus for a practice – you can really make a positive impact on a family, you are helping others face issues they otherwise would avoid, and your…

Read more »

Last Week in Estate Planning (September 4 to September 10, 2011)

3331262255_39955fb9ba_s

So I just saw “Contagion”, the movie released last week about the effects of a global pandemic.  While it certainly had a “could this really happen” feel to it, it also produced skeptical “who is going to profit from scaring the public due to the depicted realism” thoughts as well.  Read more...

Read more »

Last Week in Estate Planning (August 28 to September 3, 2011)

2518472842_8975888ba7_s

Now that all the earthquakes, hurricanes, and back-to-school preparations appear to be out of the way, we can get back to some good ol’ estate planning reading! Much of last week’s best works seem to have come from traditional media resources.  Take a look: Top Posts and Articles of the Week Post of the Week…

Read more »

What’s Missing From This Trust? Not Knowing Could Cost You Thousands

109403306_26c1db655c_s

There are plenty of articles, books, blog posts, etc. that explain the benefits of hiring a lawyer to do your estate plan, rather than doing it yourself.  Similar articles, books, blog posts, and et ceteras also recommend that you hire a lawyer instead of using an online company. On the other hand, fewer resources explain…

Read more »

Last Week in Estate Planning (June 17 to June 25, 2011)

2369111942_81d5ba4819_s

While reviewing last week’s blogs and articles, imagine the fantastic surprise I got when I saw Julie Garber’s recent “Estate Planning Roundup” article on about.com blog commending this blog.  That’s really some compliment — I have always thought her blog is one of the best, especially in terms of timely information and readability.  She has…

Read more »

The Repercussions of Drafting Estate Planning Documents Imprecisely

75px-Confusion.svg

You’ve probably heard the notion that one incorrectly drafted phrase or sentence can have great detrimental effects on your will or trust.  Later in this post, we will provide two examples of this consequence. But first, we provide essential background to help further underscore the main point that preparing a will takes precision, careful attention…

Read more »

22 Errors Found in a “Create Your Own Will” Software Package

128345994_e037b5a511_m

Last week, I bought a fairly well-known estate planning software package for under $50 to see how well it would do in drafting a will. I assumed that I was part of a married couple living in Anytown, Virginia with a small, non-taxable estate that wanted to disinherit one of our three adult sons.  Read…

Read more »

Estate Planning Fees: The 6 Levels of Service

IRS Building -- Washington DC

The distinguished blogger Hani Sarji, in his excellent forbes.com blog “Estate of Confusion”, has recently posted twice about estate planning fees.  Here, I continue the discussion by describing what I see as the six available levels of service for estate planning.  Be sure to pay close attention to the pros and cons for each as…

Read more »