There are many websites out there right now claiming to be able to provide you with a secure and valid will all by the simple use of a form. While it may seem that easy, the reality is that mistakes can be made when not using a trusted estate planning lawyer.
What makes a will legal?
To create a legally bound will, states have various requirements that must be met. In general, the will must be written by a person who is 18 years of age or older and has the mental capacity to create and sign the will.
For example, someone who is no longer able to care for themselves to make sound decisions would not be eligible to create a valid will.
However, as the courts have noted, there are always exceptions and interpretations of the law, which make it even more important to have the guidance of an estate planning attorney.
The Problem with Do-It-Yourself Wills
As we’ve mentioned, for those utilizing online and do-it-yourself will websites, they may come to find that those documents are not legally binding because key elements were missed.
We know not everyone is an estate planning expert–especially because many of us do not want to think about the end of life. But, given the current global health crisis, it’s something many of us truly need to consider.
The problem, in turn, with these DIY wills is that what you create may not be all-encompassing. It may be worth your while to have a trust as well. Or, you may already have a will created that just needs amending.
You then need to also consider the value of your estate. Who is going to receive what? What happens if your spouse passes before you do, and everything was left to him or her? These are all important questions that need to be answered. And a DIY will generator simply cannot do that.
Litigation Against Online Wills
In 2010, prominent online legal document generator LegalZoom, faced another lawsuit after a will and trust had not been properly witnessed, leaving the estate to cover many costs that a properly executed estate plan would have already covered. The class action claimed that the website was unfair and misleading.
Tips To Creating Your Will
If you are creating a will or other estate planning document online, we’ve compiled a list of tips.
- Read the fine print on the program you select. The company may bury claims, have misleading information, or may not create valid documents in every case.
- Do your research. The internet is full of information, including reviews, previous litigation and more about the tool you select.
- Contact an estate planning attorney. Right now, fear is ruling your emotions. Don’t let it take advantage of you. Contact an estate planning attorney who can help you create a will and legal estate plan.
You may be compelled to create your will online. But we urge you to think carefully. We are working with estate planning lawyers across the country who can help you create a legally bound will today.
Contact Us Today.
We can help you find an estate planning attorney in your state to draft your will and estate planning documents. You do not have to do this alone. Our lawyers are working remotely so you can stay safe and secure.
In addition, if you have been wronged by an online will generator, you need our help. You trusted these companies to help you feel secure in the future, and now you have been taken advantage of. Contact us today.