Do it yourself estate planning? Would you also perform surgery on yourself? How about representing yourself in court – even with a couple of seasons of “Law & Order” under your belt?

With the help of Google and other search engines, we’ve become a society of “do-it-yourselfers” where seemingly everyone can repair a leaky shower, diagnose a medical condition or resolve a thorny legal matter. In the legal and estate planning community, practitioners have seen even relatively wealthy clients, who stand to benefit the most from expert planning advice, use consumer software to draft their own documents.  Generally they are successful – at least as long as they are alive!  Most will never know the woeful inadequacies of their self-drafted documents – this knowledge will ultimately reside with their families, often as they incur enormous legal fees on unsuccessful attempts to exact post-mortem modifications.  There are dozens of websites that profess to offer you sage advice at a fraction of the cost of professionals. The problem is they usually can’t.