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COVID-19 NOTICE:

After careful review of the COVID-19 environment, the law firm of Chayet & Danzo, LLC, will be conducting in-person appointments in our offices on a limited basis and with strict social distancing protocols.

During this time, our team will continue to diligently work remotely on all client matters and will maintain communication through email, telephone, and video conferencing. Our main office number, (303) 355-8500 will continue to be answered during our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.

This decision to have limited appointments in-office while following strict social distancing protocols is in the best interest and health of our team, clients and community.

We will continue accepting new clients during this period as well as fully servicing our existing clients.

We wish you and your family continued health during these unique and challenging times.

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Why online, DIY estate planning is a risky proposition

| Jul 20, 2020 | Uncategorized |

The digital age has changed every aspect of how we conduct life. That includes estate planning. There are now countless do-it-yourself will creation tools out there, each making the case that this DIY approach is all you actually need.

But as the old saying goes: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

An online will is rarely sufficient

DIY estate planning lures people in because it seems convenient and cost-effective. In very rare, specific cases where someone has a small, simple estate, it might indeed be worth the risk. This means few, low-value assets, no more than one piece of real estate, no complex financial accounts, and an intent to leave everything to a single individual, such as a spouse.

In reality, very few people fit into these types of situations. And even if these criteria are met, writing a will on your own comes with legitimate risks that can upend your wishes. That includes:

  • The online tool or software not accounting for state laws
  • Unclear language or simple mistakes
  • Insufficient witnesses
  • Incoherent conditional payout terms
  • Guardian designations
  • Conflicting beneficiary designations

These issues, and others, can result in situations with enduring consequences for family and loved ones.

Signs you should speak with an attorney

A DIY estate planning tool isn’t a good option for most people. So what are some signs you might benefit greatly from working with an attorney on the creation of a will?

  • You have a large estate with valuable assets
  • You want to reduce any potential probate impact
  • You are worried about the potential tax burden
  • You have a child with a medical condition or special needs that will require long-term care
  • You own multiple pieces of real estate
  • You have a blended family
  • You want to set up a charitable trust
  • You have questions to which you cannot find answers

This list does not cover every circumstance in which it may be smart to consult with a lawyer. Everybody’s situation is unique, and ensuring the estate plan thoroughly covers all the bases requires personal attention from a knowledgeable resource.

To use another trusted saying: It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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