People in New York may be tempted to try to handle estate planning on their own. This includes creating wills and other estate planning documents without legal assistance. However, engaging in do-it-yourself estate planning by simply downloading and printing out legal forms online carries many risks.
A major problem with do-it-yourself estate planning is that New York, like other states, has strict laws regarding how to execute wills and other legal documents. If these rules are not followed, the documents will not be deemed valid. Unfortunately, many people download forms without knowing how to make them valid or whether they are even the right forms in the first place.
The reality is, do-it-yourself estate planning is a lot like completing home improvement projects without the help of a professional. Although people can do these projects on their own, they can end up damaging their homes if they do them incorrectly. In the same way, if people make mistakes in their estate planning, their property may end up in unintended hands when they die.
An attorney in New York can provide the guidance needed to complete the estate planning process with confidence. For example, the attorney may advise clients to include certain provisions in their wills that they otherwise may not have included, to protect their best interests. In addition, the attorney will make sure that a client's estate plan is in compliance with the latest laws, in addition to helping the client to update the plan in the years ahead.