Estate planning is not a do-it-yourself job

The Internet opens the door to endless amounts of information, but not all of that information is accurate. Unfortunately, the Internet can lead many individuals in Los Angeles to adopt a do-it-yourself mentality that leads to undervaluing professional experience where it is required. Not everything is a do-it-yourself job, especially not when it comes to estate planning.

For example, do-it-yourself estate planning documents printed off the Internet may leave holes that do not accurately reflect an individual's wishes. These holes can turn into serious and expensive headaches when the issue needs to be resolved in court.

One woman thought that she did all her homework when she signed a durable power of attorney for health form that she downloaded from the Internet. The form appointed her son to make medical decisions in the event that she became incapacitated. However, the woman did not manage to finish all of her homework, because when she fell ill, her son was unable to transfer funds or assets to pay for the woman's long-term care because the Internet form did not include such authority.

The son then needed to request permission from a court for such authority. Small oversights can end up quickly costing families thousands of dollars in court costs.

An attorney serves as a guide for an individual through the entire estate planning process so that no gap is overlooked. If estate planning is not properly conducted in Los Angeles, complex and difficult issues can result, which may compromise the integrity of an individual's wishes.

Problems can also arise in the distribution of estates of either modest or substantial means after an individual passes on. Accordingly, it is really in the best interest of all to seek the assistance of a skilled estate planning attorney that can mitigate these risks to protect both an individual and their family.

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