Should I Create My Estate Plan Online?
Some people avoid hiring estate planning attorneys out of fear of the expenses associated with drafting a will or other estate planning documents. Instead, they often use inexpensive software programs and attempt to develop their estate plan themselves. While it is not always necessary to hire an attorney to create an estate plan, it is wise to do so, as the costs associated with hiring an attorney are minimal compared to the expenses that a person’s family may have to expend due to the necessity of clearing up ambiguities or mistakes in their online software generated estate plan. Although there may be none, there may be many issues and two of the biggest issues estate planning software ignore are planning for beneficiaries in a comprehensive way, and planning for unique assets like life insurance and retirement plans.
Problem #1 – Failing to Plan for Beneficiaries Properly
A mistake people frequently make when drafting estate planning documents themselves is failing to include provisions that apply to their specific circumstances. In other words, the legal software template from the internet likely does not have the ability or customization available to plan for your unique situation, which can lead to oversights or confusion. For example, if a will simply states that a person’s descendants should share in the estate equally but fails to clarify whether descendants solely refer to their children or includes grandchildren as well, it can cause discord among family members. Another example is the use of trusts for minor children (or adult children who may need creditor or divorce protection). Most online estate planning tools do not have the expertise to protect your family or provide proper legacy planning.
Problem #2 Failing to Plan for Assets Properly
Estate planning attorneys have expansive knowledge regarding what people need to plan for in the future, which most do-it-yourself estate planning packages lack. As such, people who develop their own estate plan often fail to consider issues such as what care they would like to receive in the event they become mentally or physically incapacitated, how a minor child should be cared for or how their estate should be divided in the event one spouse dies before another, particularly in a second marriage situation. Online estate planning software is also unlikely to offer any counsel or guidance on assets that pass outside of the will. Life insurance and retirement plans must be planned for and require the knowledge of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Meet with a Trusted Estate Planning Lawyer in Virginia
Your estate plan is a critical document that requires precision and legal expertise to ensure it aligns with your unique needs and complies with state regulations. Do not leave your legacy to chance – reach out to our office today. Our team is ready to provide personalized assistance, ensuring that your wishes are accurately documented, and your loved ones are well-protected. Call Wilson Law at 866-603-5976 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.