A Do-It Yourself Estate Plan? You Deserve Better.

 SCHLAU|ROGERS Your Smarter Estate Plan

You Deserve Better Than A Quick, Do-It Yourself Estate Plan

You've heard it before. You may have even heard it here. Or here. Estate planning is important. Fine. But, can’t you just do this all yourself? Technically, yes, you can. However, and that's a big however, we believe the savings isn't worth the risk - it's like stepping over a dollar to save a penny; just doesn't make sense right?

Key Takeaways

  • If you’d like to keep life for yourself and your loved ones uncomplicated, avoid do-it yourself and low-cost estate plans.
  • The companies that produce these plans are not in the business of counseling clients. For them, it’s all about volume.
  • We're in the business of developing lasting relationships, and providing Your Smarter Estate Plan.™

If you’re like most people, you have probably thought about your mortality at some point or another and then perhaps wondered – what happens to all of this after I’m gone? What about my kids? What about my business? What about my art?

Your next thought might be, I need to make sure I have something (anything!) that will protect my family and assets. If that means hopping in the car and buying a do-it yourself estate plan from FedEx or purchasing a plan from LegalZoom, then so be it. Better I have something, and I just get it done. Plus my life isn’t all that complicated – I don’t need anything more than the bare minimum.

 
Somewhere Bob Shapiro is smiling.
— The Schlau Rogers Team

Well, here’s our take on that approach: if you’d like to keep life for yourself and your loved ones uncomplicated, avoid do-it yourself and low-cost estate plans. To take it another step further, we like to tell our clients this: you deserve an estate plan that is iron-clad, designed to anticipate potential issues down the road, and protective of what matters most to you, and only you.

If you don’t think a plan is necessary or you can put it off another year, think about your loved ones. A husband, a wife, life partner, kids, grandchildren, a charity, a hospital. You get the idea. Wouldn’t you like the peace of mind that all your ducks are in a row, so in the worst of scenarios, your family, assets and friends are taken of? Sure you would.

But the question remains – can’t I do this all myself? Technically, yes, you can. However, and that's a big however, there is so much risk associated with handling your estate planning yourself; and the worst part is you likely won't know if you've messed things up until it's too late. In our minds, the savings isn't worth the risk - it's like stepping over a dollar to save a penny; just doesn't make sense right? It would be like fixing your plumbing with a YouTube video playing on your computer next to you. Sure, you might get it right. But do you want to risk the flooring, the walls (the rest of the house!) to save a buck? Or would you like to make sure it's done right? (If you're thinking YouTube and you are unstoppable, please, please, double-check that Homeowner's Insurance Policy).

The point is low-cost alternatives are not all they're cracked up to be. Just look at the bottom of every LegalZoom webpage, and you'll find this disclaimer:

"Communications between you and LegalZoom are protected by our Privacy Policy but not by the attorney-client privilege or as work product (emphasis added). LegalZoom provides access to independent attorneys and self-help services at your specific direction. We are not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. We cannot provide any kind of advice (emphasis added), explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. Your access to the website is subject to our Terms of Use.
Read more at: https://www.legalzoom.com/

Do you really want to leave your future up to a company that "cannot provide any kind of advice..."? Preferably no right? But, sometimes cost is a factor. Typically, you will find these companies are extremely low-cost.  But they really only provide the most basic, generic documents. And you're not exactly getting one-on-one attention or individually-tailored advice. In fact, LegalZoom itself says you'll need a lawyer in certain scenarios (hint: you likely fall into one those categories or some of the others that article neglects to mention).

Sure extremely low-cost offerings might present a handful of scenarios that appear to produce documents that are drafted just for you. But the truth is, these options are low-cost because the companies that produce them are not in the business of counseling clients and developing relationships. For them, it’s all about volume; and sometime, low prices drive higher demand and therefore more volume. Somewhere Bob Shapiro is smiling.

If you've spoken to the wrong attorneys, estate plans can seem exorbitantly expensive. You need something in between. And it' not the do-it-yourself websites, trust us. You need an individually-tailored plan that is the result of one-on-one attention.

At Schlau|Rogers, you'll get the counseling and advice you deserve. We're in this for the long-haul. Call it "the business of developing lasting relationships, and providing Your Smarter Estate Plan."™ Our drafting technologies and vast network of resources mean you’ll always receive a robust set of documents that will stand up against life's journeys. Perhaps more importantly, we're able to keep costs low and pass that savings along to you, yet still deliver a superb product. You can read more about how we do it here.

And when you're planning for your future, it's important you get it right. Isn't it?! Without a lawyer, there’s no telling what you'll end up with. If you'd like, we can help you navigate the road to securing that future so your family is kept at ease. Schedule your strategy session today. Keep planning smarter!

Matthew Schlau is a co-founding principal of Schlau|Rogers and an estate and business planning lawyer practicing in Orange, San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties. He is a husband, father, blogger, crossfitter, and really good at helping people achieve their goals.

At Schlau|Rogers, we do more than just estate and business planning, probate and trust administration. Our objective is to provide individually-tailored plans that allow you the opportunity to reach your goals, all while minimizing headaches and risk, and maximizing peace of mind.

On our blog, you'll find useful information about estate and business planning, probate and trust administration, as well as some tidbits on personal finance, taxes, and anything else we think will help minimize headaches, worry and risk, all while maximizing peace of mind.

You can find Matthew here:
Website: schlaurogers.com
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Disclaimer: This blog is a resource for educational and informational purposes only and should not take the place of hiring an attorney. Using this blog does not create an Attorney-Client relationship between you and Schlau|Rogers. Individually-tailored legal advice is not provided within this blog. Instead, this blog is a resource designed to make you aware of various legal issues. Your use of this resource is subject to our Terms and Conditions, which you can read here. If you would like to hire an attorney, you can get in touch with us at (949) 873-0662 or request a strategy session.

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