Estate Planning 101

Do You Need An Attorney To Make An Estate Plan?

Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Estate Planning sounds like an overwhelmingly complex legal process. Not something that you can do by yourself. Or could you? You might be surprised so let’s see how.

Traditionally, creating an estate plan meant spending days away from work in a lawyer's office to understand the legalities. The problem is – you're flying blind into these meetings about the final cost which can go into thousands of dollars!

But even before we get to the costs, finding the right lawyer is a major challenge. 

Most of us do not have a lawyer on speed dial. Finding a lawyer who you can trust means sacrificing a lot of the personal time that you could’ve spent either being productive at work or having a worry-free time with your family instead.

To address the elephant in the room – No. You do not need a lawyer.

In today’s modern age with technology in the picture, you can get an estate plan done sitting on your couch at home without having to empty your pockets by going to a lawyer’s office. It holds equal legal weight and is extremely comprehensive which suits your specific needs & family dynamics.

Let me tell you more about it in this post so you have the clarity to understand if you need to search for a lawyer or if you should do this yourself online.

How much does a lawyer cost?

Lawyers make their money by sharing knowledge and charging you for their time. Every minute is accounted for. It starts from the moment you say “Hi, my name is…” till the point where you’re done with the appointment and part ways saying “...thanks, will keep in touch!”

Typically, the cost of getting legal counsel from an attorney and then crafting an Estate Plan can cost $1000 or more.

Should you consult a lawyer?

Don’t get me wrong. Lawyers are helpful. They are definitely worth it, but you should know your situation well enough to understand if going to a lawyer is the right choice between the two options.

You should consult a lawyer if…

  1. The estate you have is extremely large and complex. Say a net worth of more than $5 million. However, note that you can still do it yourself if you think that while your estate is large but it isn’t complex in nature.

  1. You’re certain that there will be litigation and legal drama amongst your heirs over the directions you’ve outlined in your estate plan.

    For example, let’s say you decide to nominate your cousin as the legal guardian for your minor child but your brother will have a problem with this and might take matters to court. A lawyer can suggest extra documentation to help with this situation.

Don’t make this send you into a spiral of overthinking about negative future possibilities. Perfect is the enemy of good. These instances are rare and so if your wishes are fairly straightforward, go ahead and do it yourself.

It’s possible that there’s nothing out of the ordinary in your situation. You might also feel that spending thousands of dollars is not worth it to consult a lawyer. In which case, you should most definitely consider writing your Will by yourself. It will save you time and a helluva lot of money!

Why should you create an Estate Plan by yourself?

If you’ve read this far, that would probably mean that making a hole in your pocket by going to a lawyer does not sound all that appealing. Creating an estate plan by yourself is simple, cost-effective, and saves you a lot of time that you can spend with your loved ones instead.

Remember the thousands of dollars we spoke about when going the traditional route? Well… with TrulyWill you can design your estate plan for less than one-third of that cost!

All documents will be legally binding, state-specific, and customized for your needs. You never have to worry about losing the papers because we’ll have them stored on the platform and you can come back to make changes at any time. Need 1:1 support from an Estate Planning Expert? We’ll help you with that too!

The best part is that you can do it from anywhere, at any time, according to your schedule and convenience. Have questions? Write to us at hello@trulywill.com