It’s great that you’ve taken the steps to begin your estate plan. Doing so is a difficult but important step in your life. Creating estate planning documents, like a will, has never been easier thanks to the proliferation of online estate planning services. These services are often appealing because they’re seen as a quicker and more affordable than taking time to collaborate with an attorney on an estate plan.
While everyone wants a quick and cheap estate plan, you get what you pay for. Many experts feel that these online services are fine for basic estate planning documents like wills, powers of attorney and medical directives if you don’t have many assets. However, there is always risk when you do it yourself.
There are a few reasons why you should at least consult with an attorney before considering going the online route:
- Your situation is unique. Missing a key document in your estate plan could have consequences for your heirs after you’ve passed. Sitting down with an attorney can provide you with customized suggestions for creating an estate plan that is most beneficial to you and your wishes.
- An attorney has expertise. This seems obvious, but an attorney’s understanding of the law can make the estate process easier by educating you on the legal components of the process. Furthermore, an attorney may make suggestions that help the law work best for you in your estate plan.
- Make sure you cover your bases. How do you know that the online service you’re using has every document that you need? Some service put key documents in upgraded packages and now that inexpensive package is costing you nearly what it would have been to meet with an attorney in the first place. Not having a complete estate plan could leave your loved ones to deal with the consequences someday.
Are online estate planning services really saving you money?
Online estate planning can work well for some people but that isn’t the case for everyone. An attorney can make recommendations for what you need and don’t need to accomplish your estate planning goals. Estate planning is important and can be complicated, but you don’t have to figure out the process on your own.