Last year, a LegalZoom.com survey found that 62% of Americans still do not have a will. And of those who do, 12% got one within the past 12 months. The importance of a will cannot be overstated, but as you rush to have yours drafted, please seek help from a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. With the rise in technology, it can be enticing to handle things on your own with fill-in-the-blank online wills.
Online wills are not a one-size-fits-all solution and can be a costly mistake for those who have them.
First things first: What is a will?
The purpose of a will is to allow a person to detail out in writing how they wish to have their assets distributed upon their death. It is a legal document, and it is crucial to estate planning. A will eliminates the threat of having the family and friends you leave behind to go through any unnecessary complex legal processes.
One of the benefits of a will is that it is considered a living, breathing document. In other words, it is meant to be altered over time to fit your needs and accounts for every possible scenario.
Just a few additional benefits of having a will include:
- Deciding how your property is divided
- Avoiding legal challenges
- Determining who cares for your children
- Avoiding conflicts and disputes among family members
- Choosing who manages the details of your will
- Minimizing taxes
Why online wills are a bad idea
Online wills are quick and inexpensive. They are also everywhere. You simply have to do a quick Google search, find the template, and fill it out. This seems straightforward enough. But the odds of having a document that cannot fully protect your family or stand the test of time exponentially increase.
Here are three reasons why online wills are a huge mistake:
- They are not one-size-fits-all — Online forms are generic. You plug standard information into pre-determined slots. They are not customizable, and they certainly will not account for special circumstances. When you work with an estate planning attorney they generally take the time to learn about you, your family, and your unique circumstances so that all of your bases are covered. Most people have complicated personal and financial lives, which makes choosing online wills a very messy solution.
- Not always legally binding — Because many of the services that offer these online wills are not law firms, they cannot provide legal advice or warn you of a potential mistake. Furthermore, the specifics of your online will may not hold up in court. This can make probate and other court matters incredibly complicated and financially costly.
- You cannot always account for your children — Children require special instructions, especially when it comes to who cares for them and how and when they will take ownership of your assets. Online wills also fall woefully short in helping families with a special needs child. In these situations and more, you want to ensure every detail is accounted for.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
When it comes to protecting your family’s future for years down the road, it is imperative to have an estate planning attorney in your corner at all times. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any questions. Our staff is always available.
For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.