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Do I need an estate planning lawyer?

There are many do-it-yourself options, but an estate planning lawyer is often a good choice to ensure your documents are properly executed.

evident Editorial Team
published
July 30, 2021
Life planner notebook on desk

An estate plan is all about making sure that if something happens to you, your family knows what to do. It’s not about how much money you have, or how many assets you own. It’s about planning ahead, so your family can grieve in peace knowing that they are carrying out your wishes.

An estate planning lawyer can help you create a plan to prepare for what will happen to your estate if you pass away, or if you are unable to care for yourself or your estate. Estate planning can be relatively simple, or quite complicated depending on your particular circumstances.

Key Takeaways

Do I need an estate plan?

Most everyone can benefit from having an estate plan-you may have even a single asset you want to give away, or a pet you want someone to care for. And you especially need an estate plan if you are married, have children, or have many assets.

Your estate plan doesn’t need to be elaborate or complicated, unless your circumstances warrant it. It can be as simple as getting a valid will in place which you can do at a low cost through online resources or an estate planning lawyer.

The important thing to remember is if you don’t have a valid will or estate plan in place, the state will determine what to do with your estate, which may not be in line with what you would want.

When should I hire an estate planning attorney?

Nearly everyone can benefit from an estate plan, and most people would benefit from hiring an estate planning attorney to ensure it is done correctly. But to be clear, not everyone needs an estate planning attorney. For example, if you have a single asset or a very simple estate or are concerned about costs, an online solution like Policygenius, Trust & Will, or Willing can be useful.

There are many reasons why hiring an estate planning attorney is a good idea. Here are our top 5:

Checklist of reasons to hire estate lawyer

So when you find yourself asking "do I need an estate planning lawyer" these five considerations should help you answer that question.

Should I make my will online?

For all the reasons we’ve discussed so far, we recommend hiring an estate planning attorney if possible.

But, having any plan for your estate is better than no plan. So if hiring a lawyer is not in your budget, we recommend using a do-it-yourself online solution. Trust & Will, Willing, and Policygenius are all good options.

So like anything in life, there’s tradeoffs. If you’re someone who wants to ask questions, has a complicated estate, or even just wants peace of mind that a trained expert is caring for your estate, hiring a lawyer is your best bet. If you just want to get something in place quickly and cheaply (which is better than no plan at all!), then a do-it-yourself solution might be right for you.

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