Estate planning is not something that amateurs should do, even if there are websites that tell you that it can be done yourself. Why? There are far too many mistakes that can be made, and those mistakes can be extremely costly in the long term.

There are a few vital legal documents that will be included in your estate plan. These documents, if drawn up incorrectly, could result in your family having to deal with probate or going through long processes to fight for what you wanted.

Here’s an example. Your estate plan will have a will and power of attorney. Your will is there to determine how your estate is managed after your debts and taxes are paid. If you don’t have this, or if it is invalidated, the state’s laws will determine how your estate is managed after your death.

Another serious consideration is the guardianship of children. Don’t leave guardianship to chance. You need to make sure you have a binding document so that a guardian is appointed and ready to take care of your children should the need arise.

Your attorney will help you make sure that you don’t make mistakes that could cost your family dearly. Things like appointing a minor as a beneficiary or not being clear about your wishes are errors that are completely avoidable. Your attorney will walk you through the start of your estate plan and help you update it with every marriage, birth or major life event you go through. That way, you know that your family and wishes are protected.