Do I need a Lawyer for a Trust?
I am fascinated by the artificial intelligence behind do-it-yourself legal tools provided by Nolo, RocketLawyer, and LegalZoom. I and many other trust lawyers use similar software to streamline the process of creating Wills and Trusts for our clients. They are very powerful tools.
The problem is that powerful tools in the hands of the untrained can create big problems. As Alexander Pope wrote, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
Let me tell you a story: in my twenties I owned a Yamaha Virago motorcycle like the one pictured above – man, was it gorgeous! One time it started running rough, and I didn’t have much money, so I bought a shop manual and tried to rebuild the carburetor myself. Shortly thereafter (when I’d left it for a few months back east with my girlfriend) it started stalling out regularly. She took it to a shop, and the mechanic said “someone’s been messing around in here, because there’s a spring that looks like a perfect cylinder, but it’s actually tapered, and it’s been re-installed upside down. That’s your problem.”
My girlfriend married me anyway, and I learned to let the professionals deal with my technical problems. I figure it just isn’t worth the risk, since we don’t know what we don’t know. You could write something called a “trust” or a “will” by yourself, but unless you have the assistance of a trust lawyer, you won’t know if you did it right, or if the 27 things that I’ve seen go wrong before, will go wrong with your “trust” (you’ll probably be dead when your mistake comes to light, with no chance to fix it).
Why you do need a Trust Lawyer!
Trusts need to be customized for each client, and that’s exactly where a trust lawyer adds value. It is also important to think carefully about which assets to put into your trust. For an overview, take a look at my five-minute video here.
Or, sign up for one of my educational seminars here to learn even more tips and tricks about making life easier for your loved ones.
Don’t take my word for it – here’s what Deborah Jacobs says about it in Forbes. Remember, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing…