You know me, I’m not a fan of do-it-yourself estate planning.  Sure, part of that is because I’m an attorney who specializes in estate planning so it does take away from business (can’t say I’m dishonest!).  The bigger part is that I see and hear about the disastrous results of folks who write their own wills and other planning documents.  And it doesn’t seem to matter whether they pick up a piece of paper and write it or use one of the “cheap” online or software-based will creating services.  The results can be horrendous (and costly!).

So I thought I would share this quiz I ran across at MSN Money.  It tests your knowledge of estate planning, in theory to help you determine if you know enough to make your own will.  I have to admit I was a little nervous before I took it myself.  I mean, how embarrassing would it be if I didn’t do well on it?!  Thankfully, I did very well.  I actually got a chuckle when the results said, “Are you a lawyer? . . . you know your estate planning cold.”  Whew!  What a relief 🙂

What may shock you is that the average score was 52 out of 100.  Yes, just barely half of the questions right!  And yet almost everyone I meet seems to think they can do their own estate planning just fine.  Well, do you want to take a 50-50 chance with the legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?  I sure wouldn’t . . . especially if you have minor children who would need to have a guardian appointed!

I did notice that it seems to be based on 2009 law given some of the possible choices given for certain questions.  And, like so many areas of law, some of the “correct” answers are arguable.  Nonetheless, it is a fun test to give you a feel for what you know (or don’t know!).

So give it a try and share how you did.  And call our office for a FREE Peace of Mind Planning Session if your score leaves something to be desired (or even if you do well . . . remember it isn’t based on Michigan law).

Michael Lichterman is an estate planning attorney who helps families and business owners create a lasting legacy by planning for their Whole Family Wealth™.  This goes beyond merely planning for finances – it’s about who your are and what’s important to you.  He focuses on planning for  the “experienced” generation, the “sandwich generation” (caring for parents and children), doctors/physicians, nurses, lawyers, dentists, professionals with minor children, and family owned business succession – and he is privileged to do so from a Christian perspective.  He takes the “counselor” part of attorney and counselor at law very seriously, and enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients – many of which have become great friends.