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Why You Shouldn’t Draft Your Own Will, Trust or Estate Planning Documents

Will & trust kits abound, yet most people don’t know the risks. The average person would be better off without any will at all rather than having drafted their own will & trust from a kit. Get legal counsel.

Schedule your estate planning consultation. Contact our Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorneys to schedule your appointment today.

DIY Estate Planning Kits

We are a do-it-yourself society. From home projects to filing taxes, the latest fad is to save money by doing it yourself. There are numerous companies which offer do-it-yourself estate planning “kits.” They claim that “most people don’t need a fancy trust,” and that “wills are not hard to draft.” They offer a “one size fits all” product and tell you that you don’t need an expensive, customized estate plan.

No Guarantees

How will you know if your layman’s drafting of documents is valid or properly states your intentions? Unless you are a licensed estate planning lawyer, you won’t have the legal knowledge or legal expertise to analyze the accuracy of your work.

Since a will doesn’t come into effect until after your death, you will never know if you’ve drafted your estate plan accurately. Illinois Courts only recognize a properly drafted Will and will invalidate any Will which does not meet the requirements of State law. Your will could be invalid, ineffective, incomplete, inadequate, inaccurate, and could inadvertently backfire. Your will could fail to meet the requirements of Illinois law to be upheld as a valid will, or could contain legal language having consequences you never understood much less intended. No, you won’t know, but your family members and loved ones will find out and may suffer the lasting consequences of your mistake.

High Stakes and Permanent Consequences

If the Court rules that your will is not valid, you can’t come back from the grave to re-draft it. After your death, your loved ones will not only discover your mistake but will also have to live with it permanently and could suffer calamitous effects from it. The risks of improperly drafting your own estate plan can have lasting, detrimental consequences, such as leaving the decision to the Court to appoint a guardian for your children, leaving your assets unprotected and leaving your loved ones devastated without provision.

Get it Done Right the First Time

You’ve heard the old saying, “you get what you pay for.” We’ve gotten the occasional client who confessed to having purchased a DIY estate plan kit and later suffered buyer’s remorse.

The only certainties in life are death and taxes, so it’s easy to see the value in meeting with the Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys - professionals whose job it is to navigate the laws governing both.


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