Living trusts come with many benefits. They can help your beneficiaries avoid the probate process, allow you to manage your assets while you’re still alive and give you privacy. However, trusts are more expensive to establish than wills, so some people go the DIY route to save money. This may not be the best idea.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t create a trust yourself.
Estate Planning Software Is Too Generic
There is plenty of do-it-yourself estate planning software to choose from. However, this software is one size fits all to make it as simple as possible for users. The problem is that estate planning isn’t one size fits all. Not everyone has the same needs or wants. What works for your friend or coworker might not work for you. If you rely on DIY software to establish a trust, your trust might not work the way you intended it to.
You’ll Likely Require Other Documents
A living trust can hold all your majors assets, including homes, cars and financial accounts. However, it is likely not the only estate planning document you will need. You may also require property deeds, funeral instructions and an advance healthcare directive. It can be overwhelming to create all of these documents on your own.
Estate Planning Laws Aren’t the Same in Every State
Probate laws vary from state to state. That is another good reason to avoid DIY estate planning software. The software does not take the varying laws into account. Many state specific issues impact a trust, such as homestead rights, effective share laws and common law marriages. If your trust doesn’t abide by your state’s law, it may be considered invalid in curt.
You May Waste Time
If you don’t have a legal background, the terminology used in trusts and other estate planning documents can be very confusing. You may spend too much time trying to figure out what everything means. As a result, a DIY trust can take time away from your other responsibilities. If you just hand the task off to an experienced trust attorney, you can save a lot of time and frustration.