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Pitfalls of do-it-yourself estate planning

People in Nevada who are creating an estate plan may wonder whether they can simply use a do-it-yourself will. However, there are a number of potential disadvantages to this approach.

One downside is that a do-it-yourself estate plan might be more likely to contain errors than one that is prepared with the assistance of a professional. This can make a will more vulnerable to challenges as well. In one such case, a man who was in a dispute with his brother about their mother's will claimed his brother had pressured their mother into creating a new will. If an attorney had been involved, there might have been an impartial third party who could have helped clarify the situation.

A more complex estate plan might also need more guidance than what is provided by a do-it yourself will, and it is not necessarily many assets that make an estate complex. For example, one woman had two young children. Her husband had died of a rare disease that the children might develop as well. She wanted to protect the children not only in case she remarried, but also in preparation for the possibility that the children might have the disease that killed their father. This and other situations might call for a trust, and without a professional, a trust could be set up or funded incorrectly.

Whether a person wants to primarily create a last will and testament or has more complex estate planning needs, there may be other estate planning documents an attorney could help with as well. People may want to consider what they want to happen if they become temporarily or permanently incapacitated and cannot make medical or financial decisions. Documents such as a financial or medical power of attorney and a living will can appoint people to make those decisions and leave information about a person's wishes for medical care.

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