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    Joshua and Laura Meier Newport Beach Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys Focused on Helping Families with Young Kids
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    Oct 2 12

    Should You DIY Your Own Living Trust?

    Newport Beach Law Firm

    The trouble with do-it-yourself planning is
    that even if your situation seems simple, there are many oddball things a
    layman wouldn’t think of that can go wrong, especially with wills and trusts.

    No one wants to pay for
    something he or she can do themselves. Right? Refinishing your deck may be one
    thing, but preparing your own estate plan may be a horse of a completely
    different color.

    Forbes addressed this matter last month in an article titled “What Could Happen If You Write Your Own
    Living Trust?
    ” As the title suggests, estate planning is not a DIY
    project to take lightly and the article recounts several “horror” stories of
    layman-driven estate planning gone awry. I recommend reading the article, if
    this is a project you are considering.

    Admittedly, whenever an estate
    planning attorney sounds the alarm against DIY estate planning, he or she runs
    the real risk of coming across as self-serving. I get that. Nevertheless, your
    estate plan is not your deck. No, your estate plan is the legally binding
    roadmap to protect everyone you love and everything you have when you cannot.

    If you botch the deck project,
    there usually is a fix. In a worst case scenario, you re-sand and re-stain
    (perhaps with a darker stain). If you botch your estate plan, on the other
    hand, your minor children may not be reared by the guardians (backup parents)
    of your choosing, may squander or lose their inheritance, and your spouse’s
    next spouse may take it all anyway. The list goes on.

    Additionally, if you botch the
    estate plan, to whom will your loved ones turn for relief when you are gone?
    Unless you carry “errors and omissions” insurance, no one.

    With many of life’s DIY
    projects, life will go on for your loved ones regardless. When it comes to your
    estate plan, however, is it really worth the risk?

    Contact Meier Law Firm to discuss how we can help you with your estate planning.

    Reference: Forbes (August 16, 2012) “What Could Happen If You Write Your Own
    Living Trust?

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