I was sitting in the barber chair at my favorite barber shop the other day. I love getting my haircut. Nothing better than relaxing in the chair while someone else plays with your hair. Now, because I want to relax in the chair I’m not real big on conversation while I’m getting my haircut. My barber though, likes to talk (sometimes excessively) and he started asking me questions about what I do for a living. I told him that I’m a lawyer who helps people make sure that their families will be taken care of if they die or have a disability, helps them plan for their long term care if they should become disabled and makes sure that their families pay as little in taxes and fees when they die as possible. My barber said, “Oh, that’s nice.” He went on talking about sports and the news of the day, but a little while later he asked “Can’t I just do a will myself? What do I need a lawyer for?” I replied, “Can’t I just cut my hair myself?”
I’m sure that none of you would try to cut your hair yourself. I did once, but I was in college, so that doesn’t count. The problem with cutting your hair yourself is that you really don’t know what you might wind up with. Same thing with gall bladder surgery. You can download some instructions from the internet and cut away, but the outcome might not be exactly what you intended. The same thing is true with estate planning or long term care planning. You can do it yourself, but your results might not be what you intended. With something as important as paying for your long term care or making sure your family is protected if you die, it’s best not to leave it to chance. Hiring a competent attorney who focuses solely on estate planning and elder law to help you and your family will be the best money you could spend.