The growing popularity of websites that promote do-it-yourself legal guides and services has led to many people to choose to create their own trusts without the advice of a lawyer. You’re never legally obligated to hire a lawyer whenever you want to create any type of legal document, including a trust, but you should always have any self-made documents reviewed by your attorney. Here’s why.
“This is not legal advice.”
There is a reason why all those legal document websites have strong disclaimers featured prominently on every page. While you can purchase a template from a company, that company cannot give you legal advice about your circumstances and legal options. The only person who can talk to you about your specific situation and what legal options best serve you is your own attorney.
Mistakes will probably not hurt you, but they will hurt your family.
When you make a trust, you create a legal document that establishes specific relationships between property and people. You can do this on your own without ever having to go in front of a judge. While this allows for privacy, it also means that you probably won’t notice any mistakes you’ve made until it is too late. If, for example, you create a trust but do not properly fund it, you essentially make a worthless document that has no legal effect. Even if you can fix such a problem it’s going to cost your family a lot of time and money, money that could have been easily saved had you first consulted an attorney.