3 Reasons Why You Should Not Try to do Your Estate Plan Yourself

People are always looking for ways to save money. And with so much information and pre-made legal forms online, you might think that you can handle drafting your Will (“Last Will and Testament”) yourself. But there are some very good reasons why you should hire a Florida estate and probate attorney to help you and you should not try to do your estate plan yourself.

Here are 3 of them.

  1. You Do Not Know the Law.

Unless you are an experienced trusts and estates attorney, chances are quite good that you are not familiar with, and do not fully understand, the Florida estate planning and probate laws.

This single point should prevent you from trying to do-it-yourself when it comes to drafting your Will or creating an estate plan.

The laws pertaining to estate planning are specific and complex. They cover a number of legal issues particular to estate planning such as wills, trusts, guardianships, probate and more.

And Florida’s laws are different in many respects from the laws of any other state in this area.

Which means that if you are inexperienced or unfamiliar with Florida’s trusts and estates laws, you are going to make mistakes if you try to do your own estate planning.

And making a mistake in this area can mean the difference between your money going to the people you want it to go to, or having your money spent on legal fees and court costs while your estate is tied up in probate for months or even years.

It can also mean the difference between your children being taken care of by the person you have chosen, or by some stranger the court appoints.

The stakes, if you get it wrong, are huge.

And once you are gone, (or are incompetent) it’s too late to fix your mistakes.

  1. Online Forms Don’t Cut It.

Many people think that they can save time and money by downloading and filling out some generic Will form they find online.

What could be wrong with that? It was carefully prepared by an attorney, right?


Then again, maybe not.

It might have been prepared by a non-attorney paralegal instead. Which brings us back to point 1 above.

But even if the Will form was prepared by an attorney, the problem with online forms is that they are not always state specific or up-to-date. (Think COVID-19. Do you think all the online legal forms have been revised to incorporate the recent changes to the law that the pandemic has caused?)

Worse, they are generic.

They do not address your individual situation, your family dynamics, or your objectives.

A Florida estate and probate lawyer will ask you the right questions and elicit the information needed to truly understand your individual needs and will draft documents that fit your individual situation and accomplish your goals. Plus, you can be assured that your documents will be prepared correctly.

3. An Estate Planning Attorney Can Give You Unbiased Advice.

Another main reason why you should not attempt to do your estate plan yourself is because an estate planning lawyer can analyze your situation in light of the law and most up-to-date estate planning tools. She (or he) can also give you the neutral advice you need.

Let’s face it, most of us have family dynamics that are difficult to navigate. An impartial party can help cut through the drama and offer suggestions we may not have even thought of.

Having your estate plan prepared by an experienced estate planning lawyer will give you peace of mind. You will know that you have prepared for all contingencies and that when you are gone, your property will be divided according to your wishes and your family taken care of.

Talk to Our Estate Planning Attorneys 

Our team here at SJF Law Group works hard to ensure that your wishes will be followed, and your loved ones taken care of when you are gone. Our estate planning lawyers expertly guide individuals and families through the complex probate process and capably handle all aspects of the creation, administration, and settlement of estates and trusts. When you work with our estate planning attorneys at SJF Law Group, you get more than just an estate plan: you get peace of mind.

As trusted probate and estate planning lawyers, we serve clients in the vibrant communities of Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Miami, FL. We are also pleased to offer the options of both in-person and virtual appointments throughout Florida to make our services accessible no matter where you are located.

If you want to discuss your specific situation with one of our estate planning lawyers, contact SJF Law Group at 954-580-3690. You can also fill out our contact form. We take pride in responding to inquiries in a timely manner.

Previous Post
Who Can Witness a Will in Florida?
Next Post
Can You Change the Terms of a Trust?