These days, you can go online and create a legally binding Will without ever having to hire a lawyer. But should you? While these services might seem attractive, they come with a few risks that you should be aware of. So to help you make the best decision about your Will, here are a few things to consider.
Cost vs Quality
One of the leading selling points of any DIY Will service is the price tag. In many cases, it costs much less to make your Will online than to hire an attorney to do it for you. However, cheaper does not always mean better.
Attorneys provide valuable knowledge and insight to make sure your Will is entirely above-board. Without professional guidance, you risk making a mistake that could cost you or your loved ones down the road.
If you have a large estate, an online Will service probably isn’t the best route to take either. Most of the time, these situations require an estate planning attorney to manage the more complicated details regarding:
- The distribution of your estate
- Beneficiary designations
- Tax issues
- Medical concerns
- Family needs
- Concerns about family disputes or bad actors
An attorney will also make sure your Will includes all the requisite language to avoid any penalties, taxes, or other unforeseen issues that could come with distributing a larger estate.
Online Risks & Other Errors
Aside from certain legal risks, there are a few other problems you could encounter with an online Will service.
For starters, any action you take online comes with some level of risk – whether from user error, software malfunctions, or cybercrime. Additionally, it’s not always guaranteed that the forms you download from an online Will service will be accepted by your state. In some cases, the documents can contain flaws that might cause them to be rejected or vulnerable in court.
Online Will services come with a handful of perks and benefits that are attractive to many. However, the best and safest way to avoid any problems with your Will is to hire an attorney to guide you through the process. At the end of the day, nothing can replace the knowledge and oversight you get from a professional Estate Planning attorney.
If you need assistance with your Will or estate plan, call the attorneys at Stanko, Senter & Mitchell today.