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Biddle Law Estate Planning Blog

Monday, December 14, 2020

Should You Create Your Own Estate Plan?

It’s comforting to know that when we pass, we have the ability to provide our families with our own property. But since we know our families and our assets better than just about anyone else, wouldn’t it make sense for us to create our own estate plan? While executing your own estate plan may seem to be the best solution (after all, think of all of the money you’ll save), it’s essential to keep in mind that it can be even more expensive to fix any estate planning mistakes that you make than it would be to hire an attorney who can ensure that it is done right from the very beginning.

Unintended Consequences

One of the biggest reasons as to why estate planning mistakes are so serious, is that once you die, there is no bringing you back to life to explain your true intentions. This holds true whether you are a minimalist with little property or a millionaire. For this reason, many people prefer a Living Will so that they may avoid probate, which can also be lengthy and expensive. The probate process usually takes between six and nine months.

Creating estate planning documents, such as a Will, can be very complex – even with the assistance of any software you may purchase. When a Will is poorly executed, it can leave executors without the funds to pay for the associated taxes, which can result in further costs and delays.

However, it’s important to get one thing straight: while creating your own Will or estate planning document is not ideal, it is generally better than dying intestate (without a Will or plan). If these are your only two options the former is probably your best bet.

What’s Stopping Us?

So if having a Will is better than not having one, what’s stopping us? According to a 2016 Gallup Poll survey, 56 percent of Americans don’t have a Will. One of the biggest reasons that many people avoid putting together a comprehensive estate plan is that we don’t want to face our own mortality. But while it can be difficult to think about death, it’s always better to have a plan in place for when the inevitable does come.

Other reasons as to why many Americans don’t have an estate plan include that they don’t know where to start, or are afraid of the process. The good news is that by working with a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney, you don’t have to be afraid and he or she knows exactly how to help. You can share your story as well as your desires and needs in order to meet them. He or she knows all about each type of Will and understands the pitfalls to avoid.

There are also certain situations in which it would be foolish to believe that a DIY estate plan would be best:

  • Multi-million dollar estates
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Blended families (e.g. step-children, half-children, etc.)
  • Disabled Children/Individuals with Special Needs
  • Properties abroad
  • Complicated family businesses

Some day when you pass away, you will want your family to be cared for. This is why it’s in your best interest – and theirs – to create an appropriate estate plan that you know has been set up in the correct manner.

Biddle Law Can Help Those Looking to Draft – or Contest – an Estate Planning Document

At Biddle Law, we care about your future together and want to assist in protecting it. This is why will work in the very best interest of our clients to seek out the best outcome for them and their families. Whether you’re in need of a Trust, a Will, or another estate planning document, or wish to contest one, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!


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Biddle Law is located in San Mateo and services San Mateo County including San Carlos, Burlingame and Foster City.



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