Dangers of DIY Estate Planning Emails
Over the past decade, there has been a rise in demand for Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs). ALSPs are companies that provide legal services apart from the conventional paradigm of legal services and systems. They ultimately use legal technology in order to provide more efficient services in a faster span of time and with a drastically cheaper fee.
You may have at one point seen a subject line pop up in your inbox similar to: "Protect your loved ones with an affordable estate plan", "25% off your estate plan" or "Tell us about yourself and we will match you with the right plan". While these offers from businesses such as banks, credit unions, financial planners, etc. that offer affordable "online" DIY estate planning options may appear to meet your needs on the surface, the dangers behind these "DIY Estate Plans" can have long-term consequences. In some cases, they are not put together by law firms.
There is no such thing as a "One Size Fits All" estate plan. Depending on the client's situation, it can be a complicated process that should be handled by a legal professional that understands the client's particular needs and family dynamics.
By trying to save money to have a DIY estate plan put together easily and inexpensively by one of these businesses, unintended problems may surface in the future. This may result in greater expense to correct the mistakes, requiring retaining an attorney or other advisor to assure damage is avoided by these “junk” estate plans.
With the pandemic still raging, these types of email offers are only growing as ALSPs target the fears and anxieties of older adults that are perhaps still sheltering in place away from friends and family.
Adults that are 50 and over are more commonly targeted by these types of estate planning emails than younger generations because they typically have more assets and are in a stage of life that requires more planning.
It is important to understand your legal needs and the potential dangers of trying to go the "easier" route. To learn more, visit this article on The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning: https://smartasset.com/taxes/the-dangers-of-diy-estate-planning
Due to the shock of the death of a spouse or a loved one, the steps of what needs to be done first can be an overwhelming process for the survivor(s). To aid in the breakdown and to act as a tool amidst the emotional days ahead, estate planning Jonathan "Jay" David has assembled a "Survivor's Checklist" of some of the important things that need to be addressed when a spouse or loved one dies.
COVID-19 Checklist & Elder Organizer Tool
For adult children responsible for their elderly parents and other senior caretakers concerned about protecting loved ones as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, below is a free downloadable checklist of steps to follow to prepare for any possible COVID-19-related illnesses among the most-vulnerable.
Foster Swift has created a free ‘Elder Organizer’ digital notebook to provide seniors and their caretakers with a toolkit that helps organize doctors’ appointments, medications, and more that can be shared online. The tools below are also available on the Elder Law Resources page.
*For those trying to access these links by smartphone, it is best practice to copy/open the link in a separate tab and download the free Google Sheets app from Google Play or the Apple Store.
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E-book Covers Estate Planning Essentials
Engaging in estate planning, while essential, is often emotional and generates many questions. How do I protect my spouse and my children if something happens to me? What happens if I become disabled before I pass on? Who will take care of my pet after I'm gone? How do I pass my business on to my children? These questions and more are addressed in Jonathan David’s recently updated e-book, “Estate Planning: You Have to Start in Order to Finish.”
Need Help Planning?
For more tools, visit our Elder Law Resource page for additional content. Click here to view/download the Foster Swift estate planning brochure to see what our experienced team of attorneys can do for you.