I’m pregnant and wondering if we really need to spend money preparing an estate plan. We’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of money or own any property. Could we just use one of the free forms available on the Internet?
We totally get that, with a baby on the way, you want to save money. However, it’s important that you ask yourself what things are really worth spending on for your family. Remember that an estate plan just might be worth the extra money in the long run. It can help you and your family breathe a little easier because you’ll know exactly how your assets will be distributed. Isn’t it better to cut costs on stuff like blankets, toys and gear than on your estate plan, which could have serious consequences -- like your children won’t have a guardian, or your assets won’t be allocated to them?
An estate plan helps you prepare for the unexpected: Having one can ensure that your hard-earned money will pass on intact to your intended beneficiaries, rather than being given to the government.
So we don’t recommend using or buying estate planning documents that are offered for cheap or online. Not only are those docs hard to understand and properly utilize, but they’re also not individualized and may not take local laws into consideration. So they might not even give you the results you want!
In fact, estate planning attorneys have to clean up messes that online forms have created all the time, so you might even spend more money that way! Make it a point to hire an attorney to help you with your estate plan, and you’ll save a lot more time, money and energy in the long run.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Saving Up for Baby
Is it important to create a will?
Should I update my estate plan now that I’m pregnant?