Do it yourself estate planning is NOT a good idea!!

March 12, 2014 - Posted by: admin - In category:

taxes - No Responses

Putting your child on the deed of your home, as a method of “do it yourself” estate planning can lead to very bad and very expensive consequences.

This is a topic we have discussed before, but it comes up often, so it is worth revisiting.

do it yourself


I received a phone call a short time ago regarding a man who had put his name on the deed of his mom’s home several years ago.  Son didn’t want to deal with an attorney and felt like this was something that he could do on his own.  The elderly mother recently passed away and son is now attending to the relevant tax filings for a deceased mother.  What seemed quite simple and innocent at the time has resulted in a significant and totally avoidable tax bill.  

To make a long and tragic story shorter, the result of this “do it yourself” estate planning is that son now owes the IRS tens of thousands of dollars that he would NOT have had to pay at this time if he had only sought competent legal and accounting advice years ago, prior to putting his name on the deed of his mother’s home.

Unfortunately, this scenario is NOT at all unique.  It happens all of the time and usually this is what happens when people engage in do-it-yourself estate planning.

One would NEVER consider “do-it-yourself” surgery or dentistry–as rational people are quick to recognize that in addition to being very painful at the moment, the potential for significant problems later is not worth saving a few bucks now.  For whatever reason, some people do not seem to apply this same logic and reason when it comes to estate planning.  However, with regard to potential “clean-up” costs and expenses, do-it-yourself estate planning can be FAR more problematic than most people realize.

At Pharos Law Group, we specialize in estate planning. 


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