Here are five reasons why shopping for a cheap estate plan is likely to leave you with a plan that won’t work for your family and will leave them with a big mess instead.
Bargain Hunting is Not Always a Good Deal
The least expensive plan is not always even worth the paper it is written on. This point is especially true once you have left the attorney’s office. Once you have an estate plan in place, your life changes, the law changes, and your assets change over time; your plan needs to keep up with those changes. You might get the bargain plan for a great price today, but what good is it if it does not work tomorrow?
The truth of the matter is that a lawyer pushing a bargain plan cannot afford to provide much more than the documents alone, that the plan is printed on. You should be working with an attorney that has spent time and effort to lay out a comprehensive plan that works for you the minute you walk out the door and grows with you over time.
If you are hiring an estate planning attorney, hire them for their expertise, and the effort they will put into making a custom estate plan for you.
Cheap Estate Plans are Typically Not Customized
Cheap estate plans are often sold by financial professionals who want to get their hands on your money, not do right by your family.
An attorney who has built a practice focused on actually serving your family will not and cannot, in their best interests, make a living selling $399 plans.
Insurance and financial professionals often get paid commissions to sell your families annuities and life insurance products. Buyer beware!
An Estate Plan That Isn’t Customized is a Poor Plan
Generic forms and documents will not be there for your family when you cannot be — you want to leave your loved one’s a relationship with a trusted advisor. An advisor that you have built a relationship with during your lifetime and who has met the people in your plan and understands your desires and your family’s needs. Ideally, a person, an estate planning attorney, that your family already know and trust.
You will not get this from a generic document template printed at a financial advisor’s office twenty years ago.
Your Family Gets What You Pay For, or What You Don’t…
My colleague’s father in law died after paying for an inadequate estate plan. He wanted to set up his estate plan so that his family would not have to deal with the probate court or his ex-wife after his death. Yet, that is exactly what happened when he died! When he died, his family was in court and dealing with his ex-wife… Why?
His needs were not taken care of because the law firm he hired was a traditional “forms and documents” firm.
They, the firm, had him fill out forms and called that a plan. They did not make sure his assets were owned in the right way, or the plan stayed up to date over time.
You might think that is malpractice, but it is not. It is actually common practice. If you are not careful with your estate plans, they may not hurt you, but they will leave your family at risk if and when something happens to you!
An Estate Plan Is Not a Set-It and Forget It Kind of Thing!
Your estate plan needs to stay up to date with changes in your life, the law, and your assets. Moreover, did you know, there’s currently more than $1,000,000,000.00 (1 billion) in unclaimed property held by our state? It typically gets to become state managed unclaimed property when someone dies or becomes incapacitated, and their family loses track of it.
You can imagine families do not do this on purpose! However, when assets are not tracked very well during someone’s life, they are often never known about after their death by those that would inherit them. And that is just one way your family loses out. If you have shopped around for a cheap estate plan rather than getting in place a plan that works for the people you love, losing track of assets is just the tip of the iceberg of things that could be lost or forgotten.
It is Never Too Late to Get a Great Estate Plan In Place, Act Today!
If you already have an estate plan in place and you are concerned, you may have gotten a cheap estate plan that will not adequately serve your family when they need it most, contact us for a plan review.
You can either have us do it for you, or you save some money by doing it yourself with our guidance and then come in to discuss what you discovered along the way.
Contact us at 509-624-1610 to schedule OR email our client service director to get on our calendar.
Alternatively, you can fill out our Contact Us form below!
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We begin our planning process with a Family Wealth Planning Session, during which you will become more financially organized than you ever have been. You will also finally be in a place to make informed, educated choices about the right plan for your family based on the things that matter, instead of just shopping around by price.