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Dangers of a do-it-yourself will

People in Nevada might think that it is easier to make their own will than to work with a professional to create an estate plan, but this may not be the case. Do-it-yourself kits and software tend to be one size fits all, but when it comes to estate planning, this is rarely the case. A DIY kit cannot encompass all of the variables that may arise.

Furthermore, they tend to be very general and lack state-specific information. State laws vary on many different issues ranging from what types of DIY wills are acceptable to taxes, community property and homestead rights, and generic software cannot account for all of these differences.

In addition, there are no guarantees associated with generic will planning software. In other words, the result could be an invalid will with no recourse or assistance to fix the issue. With more complex estates, errors may be more likely.

On the other hand, there are a number of things an attorney may be able to bring to a person's estate planning. Even if people have a simple estate and only a few assets, they might want to create documents that leave instructions for medical and end-of-life care. A person can also be appointed to handle financial issues in case of incapacity by drawing up a power of attorney. A person who has minor children may want to name a guardian in the will. For some people, a will may not even be the best vehicle for passing on assets. A person might think of trusts only for the wealthy, but trusts can be useful at a variety of income levels and in many situations. For example, a trust can contain language to the effect that distributions will only be made to beneficiaries at specified intervals or upon the achievement of certain milestones, which is not possible with a will.

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