To Purchase an Online Will, or Not?
When the topic of a will or estate plan comes up among our friends, many of them somewhat squeamishly admit that they lack one. Some, with a nervous chuckle, add that they have used an online service, software, or a form document purchased without the consultation, time, or (honestly) the expense of an attorney.
The information and technology revolution, and the improved efficiency as a result, pose a significant challenge to lawyers and the law. We’re famously the last guys to get with the program. Who else still uses Latin? At our firm, we’ve embraced many of the ways technology has made it easier and more efficient for us to represent our clients: from scheduling appointments online, to being [as] paperless [as possible], communicating via email/text, to even accepting payments on our smartphones.
We were pleased when a Federal District Court ruled for the first time the common-sense distinction that new mediums of practicing law weren’t prohibited, and that only the traditional roles played by lawyers were still to be played by lawyers—things such as representing someone in Court or giving legal advice. (You can read a summary of the Court’s analysis here.)
So turning back to the question that inspired this post, when it comes to your estate plan, “Is it ok buy an online will?” The test is the same for any legal document that deals with important rights and seeks to accomplish goals through the law:
Is it going to hold up in Court?
Like a ship floating or sinking, an estate plan is only as good as its ability to hold up in court. Only a lawyer can answer that question for you and be held accountable to you as a client.
Only a lawyer can assure you that your will can be admitted to probate.
Only a lawyer can give you sound advice about how to go about drafting your estate plan, and the best way to take care of your loved ones and your assets.
Even small mistakes in the execution of estate planning documents can mean the difference between your will, your desires for your estate being followed, or having unintended expenses come up years later, or having your property dealt with through the laws of intestate succession.
You want to be sure that your will is a valid one and we’re happy to help. We endeavor to make your estate planning comprehensive, affordable and, of course, legally air-tight.
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