Many people wonder why they should hire an attorney, especially when there are various forms, books, websites, and software available designed to help you create your own estate plan, file your own divorce, or start your own business. Attorneys provide more than the necessary forms. The right attorney can provide you with peace of mind, a helping hand, legal advice, and the expertise needed to guide you through the legal process and craft individualized documents that protect you and meet your needs.
As described by Troy Neff in this article published by the Toledo Free Press, one of the most common risks of being a DIY attorney is the unintentional consequences your work may create. The client in Mr. Neff’s article created his own estate plan which put him at risk of:
- Paying as much income tax as humanly possible.
- Losing most or all of his assets if something were to happen to his girlfriend or kids.
- Paying all kinds of penalties and gift taxes if the Internal Revenue Service looked at what he was doing.
- Getting nailed big time if something unexpected were to happen.
- Going broke if he ended up requiring any long-term care.
- Having his estate value eroded every year by not being properly diversified and not having a real opportunity to beat inflation.
Don’t make the mistake of putting yourself or your family at risk of losing everything. Seek the advice of an attorney before attempting any DIY legal documents.