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We’re American’s and we like to think we can do it all ourselves.  We’re self sufficient and self reliant, and we don’t need experts.  Places like Home Depot and Lowes, Kragen and AutoZone are proof that we are ready to tackle any project with a hammer and a wrench.  Why should estate planning be any different?  Here are three things to consider when you’re tempted to pick up that discount software at your local office supply store.

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”

Niels Bohr, Quantum theory Physicist

Creating an estate plan on your own is a bit like piloting a submarine with no radar, 100 feet below the surface, and headed for land.  By the time problems become apparent, it is too late to do anything about them.  Estate planning attorneys have the advantage of experience – their own and the many other clients they have assisted over the years with problems large and small.

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you; it’s what you think is so, that isn’t so.”


Creating an estate plan is more than printing a document.  It’s also amazing how fast a simple plan like “I want everything divided equally between my children” can get complicated.  Probate and tax law have all kinds of nasty surprises for the unwary and unaware.  Law students learn this lesson fast: assuming that the law is going to make sense is an easy way to fail.  An Estate Planner is going to know things that are possible with tools that you may not even know exist.

“Some assembly required.  No batteries included.”

Children’s toys

Parents look forward to the night before Christmas with eager anticipation.  There is nothing quite like the mad dash to assemble all the little parts into something resembling the picture on the box.  Even more exciting is the thrill of trying to comprehend instructions in fine print and in a language that somewhat resembles English.  When you pay for an online or “assemble yourself” product the experience is similar – you have a document that may or may not meet your goals and wishes for your family – a little hard to tell, since nothing asked you about those goals and wishes along the way – and the thing you hold in your hand is in fine print and in a language that somewhat resembles English.  Having a professional assemble your complete estate plan takes that stress off of you and gives you a completed product.

What details are important to you when it comes to protecting your families future security?