Due to endless Do It Yourself ads on TV and the internet, many people have come to believe that you can create almost any legal document you might need without the assistance of a lawyer. When creating budgets for clients, I always have a line item for legal expenses. Despite the supposed simplicity of online services, a sit down discussion of your needs with an attorney is vital for these top four reasons:
Wills, trusts & estates
Your will is your only voice after death. If you have determined how and to whom you want your assets distributed, you should have one of these three items locked down tight. If you have children who are minors, you should specify who is to take custody of them after you pass, however grim the thought.
If you want certain actions to be taken in case of an illness, mental decline, or incapacitation, forms such as: Durable Power of Attorney, healthcare proxies, Living Will/Advance Directive are required in order for your wishes to be met.
Special needs responsibilities
If you have a child or family member that will require special or long-term care that you will no longer be able to provide or oversee, instructions for their care, comfort and financial support should be spelled out.