We all know someone who has an estate planning horror story. A DIY estate plan that failed to meet statutory requirements and was thrown out in probate. Or a long, painful, exhausting, and frustrating probate process that drains your loved ones of time, energy, and money. Or the worst, families that are torn apart by messy fights about who is entitled to which of your assets and why.
The bad news is that estate planning horror stories happen every day—generally the result of well-intentioned but ill-fated DIY estate planning attempts. The good news is that a qualified estate planning attorney can help keep the horror out of your estate planning story. Here are 4 reasons why you need an estate plan:
1. Avoiding the pain of probate. Hopefully you’ve never had to deal with probate. But if you have, then you understand what a nightmare it can be. It’s slow, expensive, and what happens in probate does not stay in probate—it becomes a matter of public record. Avoiding probate is one of the main reasons why people seek professional help to create an estate plan.
2. Eliminating the fear of family fighting. Outlining exactly who should be in charge of decision-making in the event you become mentally incapacitated, and dictating the precise way you would like your assets distributed posthumously, can prevent messy family fights and a long and costly probate process.
3. Protecting your loved ones. There are two common reasons why grantors hire an estate planning attorney to ensure their estate plan is designed to protect their loved ones: one is to protect the inheritances of children and minors, and the second is to protect beneficiaries from their own bad decisions. Maybe one of your beneficiaries isn’t the best at managing their money, or maybe they’re married to someone who you believe may squander their inheritance. Either way, a well-prepared estate plan will protect your loved ones and ensure your assets make it to their intended beneficiaries, without drama.
4. Protecting your assets from unexpected creditors. As soon as a lawsuit is on the horizon…it’s too late. An estate planning attorney can draft your estate plan in a way that protects your assets from the unexpected—both during your lifetime and after.
DIY projects are great around the house and in the yard. But estate planning is much too important to attempt yourself, and there much too many horror stories that prove that DIY estate planning is a bad idea. Your best bet is to hire a qualified estate planning attorney who knows how to protect you, your loved ones, and your assets. You’ve worked your whole life to build your estate—you owe it to yourself and your family to protect it to the very best of your abilities.
Contact the Deliberato Law Center
The elder law and estate planning attorneys at the Deliberato Law Center are known as some of Ohio’s most compassionate and qualified. We can help you with your estate planning needs, wherever you are in the process—we can start from the beginning, or audit an estate plan you already have in place! Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards securing your future, and the future of your loved ones.