It’s that time of year again … starting fresh with New Year’s resolutions galore!
In addition to that, the coronavirus pandemic has many people deeply concerned about their health and wondering what will happen to them and/or their loved ones if they contract the virus. For so many, the eventuality of death seems more real and more imminent than ever. Because of this, sales of online wills and legal documents have absolutely exploded over the past few months.
As a word to the wise, however, do not put your estate planning into the hands of others that may not help you, but may – indeed – hurt you in the end.
I’m a lawyer; so, obviously, I want people to use lawyers. But, most of all, I want people to understand the entire estate planning process so your inheritance passes to whom you want, as quickly and as inexpensively as possible when you are gone.
Beware of costly errors! Generally, people use these websites because they want to save money. That is a lousy reason to put the future of your loved ones at risk! What happens, often, is that you may save a few hundred dollars by creating an online will or trust. Then, your family has to spend thousands to go through the administration in probate court (often, when it could have been avoided altogether), or even worse, litigate because there is something wrong with the documents you found online.
Forms become outdated — fast! Another negative note for these online form services: It is very difficult for them to stay current with changes in state law. Every year, the legislature may tweak its laws governing probate, estates, trusts, advance directives and other important documents. If your form is outdated or is based on another state’s laws, the form will likely fail in court.
Attorneys are still open for business! My firm is still open for your estate planning
needs. We perform these essential services and we are always adapting to the current circumstances to meet our clients’ specific needs.
Quit procrastinating and get your Will and other estate planning documents in order.