Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, November 25, 2013

Drawbacks to Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning

DoityourselfThe ABA has been asked to examine do-it-yourself techniques in estate planning. During it's examination the ABA identified a number of problems with that approach. Specifically, it noted that the outcome of a do-it-yourself plan is usually not what the deceased intended. Often the deceased will forget to plan for contingencies. Additionally, those who use this do-it-yourself method do not take advantage of all the tax saving strategies. The ABA has also highlighted a case that shows the drawbacks of the do-it-yourself method. The man in the case drafted a holographic will and signed it but did not have the will witnessed, which destroyed the wills validity. Following the drafting of the will, the man committed suicide and left his heirs with an estate nightmare. Litigation regarding the estate reached the New Jersey appellate court.

See Robert Smith, The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning, Law Offices Smith & Doran, Nov. 22, 2013.

Here is the link to the ABA Report entitled DIY Estate Planning.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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