I was trying to repair my house more often than now. The experience can be a teacher so hard. On one notable occasion, my plumbing "repair" caused a flood in my home. I was so confident, before the fact, that the initial problem (constant drip, dripping, drip from a leaking valve) would only require that "the" a simple solution. Not so. If you&39;ve ever watched Mickey Mouse play the role of the sorcerer&39;s apprentice, you can imagine my panicked response when water started flowing on the floor, through the ceiling, and so on. "Our first claim of homeowners," remarked my wife in fact, as we examined the damage I had caused. As embarrassing as it may be for me personally, the blow to my wallet was harder. The dollars I expected to save while doing the work myself were in fact paid several times in order to meet the deductible provided for in my owner&39;s policy.
I have therefore learned to leave a lot of "simple" repairs to those who are more skilled. In the same vein, I have found in my estate planning practice that people who try to do it themselves are likely to develop big headaches. Example: A few years ago, a new client came to see me after her attempt to sell her house was completely frustrated by the planning of her estate. It all started when she inherited a house from her parents&39; estate. She decided that it would be easy to add her three minor children under the property. As she explained to me after the fact, her intention was to protect the rights of children in the property in the event of death. Keeping this in mind, she bought a fill in the blank waiver application act at her local stationery store and had the act registered. Shortly after, when she decided to sell the property, she learned that the addition of her underage children to the title posed enormous problems: for the securities company, which does not have a lot of money. would not insure the transaction because of the minor sellers; for its prospective buyer, who would not proceed without title insurance; for his lender; and for herself. Too late, my client understood that she was trying to do her estate planning herself as well as my plumbing repair exercise.
I&39;ve heard variations of this sad story from other estate planning professionals. It seems that it is not uncommon for well-intentioned people to embark on the preparation of their own estate plan without consulting a professional. I suppose that access to all this free information via the Internet, the proliferation of legal kits to make oneself and the perfectly understandable desire to save a few dollars as much as possible have brought more than one consumer undertaking to go boldly where he will eventually realize that he wishes he did not have it. Having endured the wet shoes in the puddles created by my do-it-yourself plumbing, I can certainly sympathize. As I&39;ve learned and my client has learned, good professional advice can protect you from costly mistakes.
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