Welcome to Values Based Estate Planning.
So what’s wrong with using a boilerplate form, will, or trust, that you’ve downloaded from the internet? Isn’t that better than doing nothing? While we don’t like the idea that you would do nothing, using a boilerplate template form for your will or trust is actually one of the top 10 reasons why estate plans fail. First, let’s understand that doing nothing puts the State laws in charge of your assets. Those laws may distribute your assets in any way, that you may not prefer, and the State will take a hefty percentage for doing you that service. We call it probate, and we’ve discussed that in another video.
So doing nothing isn’t a great idea. But what about using a form, will, or trust downloaded from the internet? Well, it’s a little like being an adult and coloring inside the lines of a children’s coloring book, as opposed to reading a well-written novel. When it comes to the management of your estate, you need a well written novel, in other words your official guide book, that describes the rules of your legacy and asset distribution, and reflects the complexity and sophistication of your life and situation.
Time and time again, estate planning lawyers are hired to clean up the mess that these online forms have created. We’ve seen children unintentionally disinherited, revocable living trusts that aren’t honored by financial institutions, documents improperly executed and therefore invalid. Children with substance abuse problems having immediate access to funds which fueled their addictions, and a vague will that caused family arguments and ended up with years of litigation. Those scenarios may have been avoided with customized, expert advice, and a Values Based approach to estate planning.
Most online forms fail to take into account your values, or the legacy you want to leave behind. At Values Based Estate Planning, we have a blended approach to take advantage of the cost-effectiveness of a legal form, but we don’t leave your with a coloring book. We take that coloring book and turn it into a novel, a novel about you. A Values Based approach, that is based on what and who you love, not just your assets, and we provide you with a cost-effective, interactive approach that saves you money.
Our website asks you for the information we need, generates a will or a trust or other legal document, and then a Values Based Estate Planning attorney follows up with you for a more in-depth conversation, so you get exactly what you want, and need.
Let us help you secure your legacy. This is smart estate planning from the heart.