Advance Directives and the Danger of DIY (Do It Yourself)

By Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney Rick Law.  Senior Advocate at the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law in Aurora, Illinois.

“So what’s wrong with a ‘Do-it-yourself’ plan?”….

In this Internet age when seemingly everything is available online, many people may be tempted to download their own living will or health-care power of attorney instead of consulting a lawyer. The forms seem to be self-explanatory, but are actually more complex than they look.

The DIY route could cost you big-time…

For example: an elder law attorney had a client who had actually initialed all three choices in regard to end-of-life decisions rather than simply choosing one. Another client brought in a form on which the person named as the principal had not signed the form. Rather, the daughter (the client’s agent) had signed it where the principal was supposed to sign. We have even seen people bring in forms that are not witnessed or are witnessed by interested parties (very interested, in some instances).

If you can imagine an error that could be made on these forms, there is an individual who could make that error – if not helped by a capable lawyer that is.

Needless to say, in the arena of advance directives, the do-it-yourself approach can be a waste of time, or worse yet – lead to disastrous results.

If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine,, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  

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