In today’s tech-savvy world, people are finding cheaper ways to do things themselves, like Wills. With the cost and convenience of online DIY Wills, it’s an understandably attractive opportunity; but we have worked with plenty of cases that lead to expensive and unforeseen mistakes down the road.
The benefits of having a Will allow your final wishes to be carried out as planned once you pass away, rather than the state getting the final say according to the law. Here are three reasons DIY Wills will hurt you more than help you:
Failure to properly execute
The most common issue we come across when reviewing or litigating DIY Estate Plans is the failure to properly execute the estate plan documents. When a person fills in information in an online service, the document is pretty basic. It is best practice to have it be notarized and the type-written wills must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the estate to be valid. More often than not, these estate planning documents are either signed without meeting the requirements, making the document hard to execute. Without proper execution of estate planning documents, the documents are unenforceable and meaningless in a time of need.
May not honor state laws
Every state has a different probate process. Probate is the legal process of submitting your Will to the court so that your wishes can be carried out. The courts allow the executor of an estate to distribute property based on someone’s Will without their supervision. If your Will leaves out a certain term or phrase, it will be out of accordance with state laws, and the probate process becomes more complicated and more expensive. Be mindful that online Will generators don’t always include the necessary language to take advantage of Massachusetts or Connecticut probate process, which can cost you, even more, to correct down the road.
May not be custom to your circumstances
When you meet with us, we can diagnose and forecast the right protection for any potential problems with your estate based on your assets and needs. DIY Will generators can only respond to the information you put in, making your Will generic and not tailored to your needs. By not choosing to have your estate assessed by an attorney, you take the risk of needing an attorney (at a much higher cost) to fix the problems that a cookie-cutter Will won’t guard against.
Having our dedicated estate planning attorney work with you means having a professional guide you through the execution process. Get started protecting your legacy with a proper Will by contacting us today for your free consultation.