Do It Yourself Legal Stories

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Do it Your Self

D-I-Y Wills and Trusts: The cautionary story of Dr. Conklin

This article illustrates how wrong an estate plan can go, when people fail to follow the formalities required under the law for Wills and Trusts. It also highlights why do-it-yourself estate planning is just not a great idea in the first place. Dr. Conklin may have been a great doctor but he certainly was not a good attorney.

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Walmart Wills - The Latest Trend In Do-It-Yourself Legal Products!

This story is about a new player in the DIY legal world: Walmart! Yup, Walmart has begun selling DIY Wills. And why not? People seem to have no problem buying DIY Wills from Legalzoom, Suze Orman, Wills-O-Matic, and many other online stores. Walmart may be best known for deals on toilet paper and snack food, but the store now sells Wills for $99 too. This story explores the upside to Walmart Wills as well as the many downsides

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The 6 Most Common Mistakes with DIY Wills & Trusts

Recently the attorneys over at Morgan and Disalvo, P.C., published a story about do-it-yourself estate planning documents. They explain that attorneys do not like do-it-yourself wills, including the online services, because everything that can go wrong generally does. In addition, they add that even proponents of online will-making services don’t recommend them for blended families, families in which there is likely to be fighting over the estate, families with children with disabilities, or families with significant assets (over $5 million). They then discuss the six most common mistakes they have seen with DIY Wills.

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Online Estate Planning Forms: Buyer Beware!

Recently, there was an article in Outlook By The Bay magazine for the Savvy Senior written by estate planning attorney, Candace H. Beckett. It highlights online estate planning and a couple of the lawsuits that have been filed against Legalzoom as a result of the problems created by the use of Do-It-Yourself living trust Forms. The article also discusses the fact that consumers are powerless to do anything (obtain legal recourse) when things go wrong. Hence the words in the title: Buyer Beware! If you haven't considered the pitfalls of DIY estate planning before, definitely read the following article, as it is sure to be a wake up call for many.

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Estate dispute caused by ‘E-Z Legal Form’ is a ‘cautionary tale,’ says justice

With regard to DIY Legal Documents, Florida Supreme Court Justice Says: "Concurring Justice Barbara Pariente saw the ruling as a cautionary tale. “While I appreciate that there are many individuals in this state who might have difficulty affording a lawyer,” Pariente said, “this case does remind me of the old adage ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish.

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The Drawbacks Of Do it Yourself Estate Planning

This is an article that was first published on Forbes about Do it Yourself Estate Planning. It states that dozens of web sites now offer estate-planning document services for a fraction of what a lawyer might charge to develop a will, trust or power of attorney. While affordable, the trend toward do-it-yourself estate planning is fraught with risk, according to Ruthann Driscoll, director of advanced planning at Northwestern Mutual. “Estate planning documents are filled with legalese; terms that mean very specific things under the law,” says Driscoll. “A friend of mine mistakenly disinherited her sons because she didn’t understand one legal phrase that appeared in her will. That’s why do-it-yourself estate planning scares me.”

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Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

This is an article written by attorney, Lee R. Phillips. He talks about clients frequently thinking they have a good estate plan but in reality, they do not. Then he focuses on one particular story. He write, "most recently a gentleman brought an 'irrevocable personal residence trust' into the office. It was created for him by his insurance agent. Why do folks trust non-attorneys with their legal work? This would be the number one item on my estate planning mistakes to avoid list.

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Why Isn't Anyone Complaining About Do-It-Yourself Living Trusts?

Over the years, I've seen a lot of mistakes made when people use do-it-yourself living trusts in California. What's more, is that I am not alone. That is, I've had many discussions with other attorneys about all the mistakes people make when they try to create a living trust all by themselves. Given the frequency of mistakes, sometimes devastating mistakes, and the fact that the legal profession is highly regulated, for a long time I have really wondered: why isn't anyone complaining about, or consumers suing over, or State Bars coming in to regulate, do-it-yourself legal document companies?

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The Reality About Legalzoom's Living Trusts: A True (Horror) Story

This is a true story about the mother of one of my clients, who used Legalzoom to set up her Living Trust. What seemed so simple, actually turned into a living nightmare.

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The Rudloff Case: A Case Study Into The Uncertainty Caused By Do-It-Yourself Living Trusts

Oftentimes people wonder about the pros and cons of creating their own living trust through a do-it-yourself company such as Legalzoom, Nolo, or Rocket Lawyer. With regard to such, Consumer Reports conducted their own study of do-it-yourself estate planning and found that living trusts created at do-it-yourself companies are unlikely to achieve everything that people want and could even lead to unintended results. Some might conclude from the Consumer Reports study that such document services don't really work.

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