Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do it Yourself Living Trust - Be Careful

If you are thinking about a do it yourself living trust from the internet, I would advise you to be careful. While some products and books from the internet are good, there are some that could give you results you didn't expect.

I have seen articles from attorneys suggesting that you always need to have an attorney draft your documents. I wonder if this is a little self serving. I have helped over a thousand clients in my career as a lawyer and I can tell you many of them could have done it themselves if they had the right product or book. You can do it yourself too but need to consider the following information.

• You are not the same as your neighbor or someone on the other side of the country. Your estate plan will not be either. You should look for a product that gives you choices as to what goes in your living trust.

• Cost plays a factor in the do it yourself living trust creation. If it is for free, you will probably get what you pay for. Look for a product or book that is moderately priced. In addition to the product or book is there any additional bonuses or features.

• Consider if you are on your own or does the vendor offer someone to answer questions about the product or book if you have them.

• Is the product created or written by an attorney. If not, I suggest you go elsewhere.

• Does it educate you or simply give you a form. With the living trust, you need to do more than fill in a form. If you buy the product or book will it teach you how to create your living trust.

You can create your own estate plan using a do it yourself living trust but you should be careful and do your research on what you buy.

Robert Olson is the lead attorney at DIY Lawyer. A website dedicated to helping people do their own legal work including drafting a Living Trust. They offer an e-book with a money back guarantee titled the Living Trust Annotated. This book teaches you to draft your own Living Trust for a fraction of what you would pay an attorney. With the purchase of the e-book you also receive a free half hour phone consultation with a DIY Lawyer to answer your questions about the book. You can read about it at DIY Lawyer's Living Trust Annotated. You can also sign up for their Free Living Trust E-Course

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