Online resources for do-it-yourself estate planning – particularly DIY wills – are infinite. Many sites like LegalZoom promise ease-of-use, low costs and expedience. That doesn’t mean they are a good idea.
Put it this way: Would you perform surgery on yourself? Would you defend yourself against criminal charges in court? Maybe you would risk attempting repairs on your own leaky faucet despite no plumbing experience, but you know there is a decent chance you’ll end up with a huge hassle and the need to pay a professional to fix it anyway. Estate planning is rife with potential pitfalls, and fixing a botched job is often much messier – and costlier – than you can imagine.
Your estate is the culmination of your life’s work. It includes your savings, your assets, your debts and your last wishes. A good Central Florida estate planning attorney can tell you that a fill-in-the-blanks record is not a “plan” because it fails to take into account the uniqueness of your situation. What’s more, the formalities of what constitutes a valid document can vary from state-to-state. How can you be sure that what you’re printing from a random website is going to meet the precise – and current – requirements of your state? Sites on the internet may provide you with documents, but they aren’t a replacement for sound legal advice from an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer. In fact, it could make the situation worse. Continue Reading