Estate Planning Myth: “Its not worth the trouble and expense of hiring an attorney…”

August 21, 2013 - Posted by: admin - In category:

taxes - No Responses

Let’s face it, the prospect of dealing with an attorney is not pleasant for most people.  Even as an attorney, the thought of working with another attorney makes me a little uncomfortable…:)  In fact, I would even suggest that for most attorneys, the worst part of their job is having to deal with other attorneys.  Also, you should know that 99% of all attorney jokes were coined by attorneys.

Given these realities, a major reason why people chose not to address their estate planning issues is simply the fact that doing so properly would require retaining an attorney–a thought that is far too terrible for some to entertain.  Even so, this is NOT a good reason to avoid getting your estate planning needs taken care of.  To use an analogy, I also do NOT like doctors, dentists or hospitals–no, not one bit.  Even so, if I’m sick and when I am in need of dental or medical services, I usually do the rational thing and in spite of my instinctual feelings towards medical personnel and facilities, I bite the bullet, make an appointment and take my medicine (literally and figuratively).  Consider the folly of a person who is in dire need of medical attention, but who refuses to obtain the needed help simply because they don’t like doctors or hospitals.  Silly, right?  Well, the analogy has direct application in the world of attorney and estate planning.

I should also, of course, add that not ALL attorneys are mean, nasty, unpleasant…(etc.).  No, just as with every other profession, there are good ones and ones that are not so good (both in personality and competency).  The trick, therefore, is to do your homework and find an attorney who is qualified and is also a good/nice person.  Just as it is silly for us to self-diagnose and self-treat medical conditions that are more than basic and elementary, so, in a like manner, self-help estate planning is a VERY bad idea, can lead to tragic consequences and expenses that are much higher in the end than if a competent estate planning specialist had been retained at the beginning.  Just as it is always less expensive and much less painful to build a house correctly from the start, as compared to building it wrong and then trying to fix it, so it is with estate planning–better and most of the time much less expensive to get it right the first time.

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