Why Use An Attorney for Your Will or Trust?
By Libby Banks, the Law Office of Libby Banks
The other day a very savvy businesswoman I’ve gotten to know came in to take advantage of my free review of existing estate plans. To my surprise, she brought in a do-it-yourself Last Will and Testament. It named an executor and said who would get her estate, just as a Will should. But her Will was completely invalid because it wasn’t properly executed. Besides that, she did not have the other documents needed to ensure that if she were incapacitated, someone could step in to care for her and her finances.
As an estate planning attorney, I often get asked about whether using online trust or will planning software or forms from the local gift shop are a good idea. I answer with a story about my dear husband.
Andy is a great handyman. It’s wonderful that he can fix things around the house. When we moved into our home, he replaced many of the appliances himself, including a nice new stovetop. It was great! Well, it was great until he put in the new vent hood. I stood across the kitchen watching him, then walked over to the door for a better vantage point. Suddenly the light bulbs on the hood exploded and the fan spun across the room to hit the cabinet – right where I had been standing 30 seconds before. “Honey,” I said, trying to keep calm. “Do you think it’s time to call an electrician?”
We were lucky. No one got electrocuted due to the error, and I didn’t get my head shaved by the fan. But we definitely came to the conclusion that there are times when it is best to call in the experts.
The same is true when you are putting together an estate plan. If you don’t do the job right and you don’t know you’ve made a mistake, it may well be too late before you – or more likely, your family – finds out. That’s why it’s important to use an attorney who concentrates her practice in estate planning to prepare your will or trust. For help with your estate planning, give me a call at 602-375-6752, email Libby@libbybanks.com or visit my website at Libbybanks.com.