DIY Estate Planning Bivens & Associates in Scottsdale

We all want to save money in any way we can, whether we clip coupons (or use digital coupons) or we wait for Black Friday to order Christmas gifts. One way that many people save money is doing projects themselves (known as DIY), instead of hiring professionals to do it for them. Popular DIY tasks include painting your house, changing out your flooring, or installing your own home surround sound system. While these are viable alternatives to save money, sometimes when you DIY a project that you just don’t have the skill-set to DIY, you end up spending more money just to fix the problems you caused rather than hiring a professional in the first place. Examples of this would be plumbing or diagnosing your dog’s weight loss.

What about DIY’ing your estate plan? After all, it’s just writing down what you want to happen after you die, and once you’re dead, it doesn’t matter anyways, right?

Bivens & Associates in Scottsdale offers top-notch estate planning lawyers to help you not only distribute your assets once you’re gone, but also to provide for other contingencies, such as if you suddenly become incapacitated. Our caring and compassionate estate planning team can advise you on these processes and more. In addition, we are specialists in elder care law, guardianship, conservatorship, and special needs. Below, we’ll offer compelling reasons on why you should not DIY your estate plan, and why instead you need to call us today!



With estate planning, most items are not cut and dry like a buyer/seller agreement. Everyone’s situation is unique, and thus what will work for one person most likely won’t work for another person. For instance, if you own a business, there are many factors that are in play that need to be ironed out in order to legally transfer your part of the company to someone else. Transferring your business to someone else is not something you want to risk making a mistake on. Mistakes can be simple little things, such as saying “do” instead of “do not” — all of which can make a big difference in the outcome of your asset distribution.

Fine Print

Often, the details are what matter the most in estate planning, and if you have a lot of stuff and many relatives you wish to give your stuff to, mistakes are easy to make. And if the mistakes are not caught while the person is alive, then it can become a big problem. For example, if you don’t leave enough money for estate taxes (you have to make almost $5.5 million for federal taxes), then there can be disputes amongst the heirs, delays, and lawyer fees. Bivens & Associates in Scottsdale reminds you that one of the main reasons for a will, trust, and an estate plan is to avoid family conflicts that could lead to life-long splits. It’s also to make the distribution of your assets fair if that is what you so choose. Mistakes could be seen as intentions.

Cost Your Relatives More Money Than You Saved

Mistakes or good intentions that go awry can cost you or your family money. For example, if you invest in a DIY form kit and then make alterations to the will without it being witnessed, the will will most definitely go to court upon your death, costing your family hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The alterations will most likely be thrown out, leaving your intentions as if they never existed. Also, if you do catch your mistakes, you’ll have to pay to have it altered and re-witnessed again.


There are a lot of steps involved in estate planning, and the paperwork can be quite expansive, especially if you own a business, have a special needs child, or you owe estate taxes or have a family partnership. DIY real estate plans that you find or buy on the internet are sorely inadequate for the kind of asset protection, asset distribution, and end-of-life wishes that you need to convey to your loved ones. There is just too much at stake to chince on estate planning.

If you are in the Scottsdale, Arizona, area, give Bivens & Associates a call. We specialize in estate planning, elder care, and special needs law, making a perfect combination for your end of life needs and will.

As mentioned above, it doesn’t matter what happens after you die to you because you are unaffected. Estate planning is really about taking care of those whom you leave behind. Losing a loved one is devastating, especially if it’s a parent or a spouse. Making the burden on your loved ones just a little bit easier is your final gift to them. Contact us today for a free estate planning consultation!