Attorneys: What are the downsides to do-it-yourself living trusts?

I’m interested in setting up a living trust, and hope to save the $1,500 or so that a local lawyer says he wants to charge me.

I’ve been doing some Googling and have found many CD- and print-based how-to manuals that promise to walk me through the entire process, from A to Z.

My question is: providing I follow the insturctions to the letter and don’t have Bill Gates’ complicated finances/wealth, will these mainstream how-to manuals generally produce safe, legally binding documents?

Your thoughts are welcome.


Moderators: I hope we can stay factual–and out of IMHO territory.

Well, nobody here is gonna tell ya that you’ll be safe with those books, although I imagine the risk is pretty low.

If you are hell-bent on doing it yourself, I would find your local bar association’s catalog of CLE (continuing legal education) materials on the subject and buy a copy of the most recent book.

(standard disclaimer about legal advice)