We know the perception is out there that hiring an attorney to help you with your estate planning is expensive. Internet businesses sell software that supposedly explain the process and allow you to draft a carefully tailored and legally valid estate plan on your own. There are even some people out there who think they just need to write down their final wishes and put their “will” in a safe deposit box to take care of their families.

Have you ever heard the expression “you get what you pay for”? It certainly fits when it comes to estate planning, as NerdWallet notes. Online software may save you money short-term, but you likely will receive no legal advice from an estate planning lawyer while you use it.

The advantages of an estate planning attorney

Without experienced legal counsel, you are missing out on reliable advice from someone who has prepared hundreds or thousands of wills, trusts, medical directives and other estate planning tools. Having a lawyer means you will understand the long-term implications of every decision you make while crafting your plan.

Your attorney will also help you avoid errors. A mistake could lead to someone being wrongfully disinherited or your will being invalidated after you pass away. You lawyer will make sure all the documents are clearly written, legally valid and property executed.

Finally, an estate planning attorney will explain the steps you can take to minimize the impact of estate taxes on your estate or avoid them entirely.

Your estate plan is important. In the long run, retaining an attorney could save your estate significant money, and prevent family disagreements. Think about that before you try to write your estate plan by yourself.