These days, you can do everything online. Everything you want to know is just a Google search away – and that’s great. You can find obscure or complicated answers with only five hours of searching.
But this dynamic is also changing the field of estate planning. With the rise of generators and other online estate planning tools, many are going the do-it-yourself route. The ads are tempting, too, with some saying “Attorneys use similar forms,” “This website/kit is created by an attorney,” or “The cost is much less than hiring an attorney.”
After all, forms are just forms, and attorneys just charge forms, right?
Going the DIY Route
Completing the forms may look simple and easy. Just one mistake, however, can have major effects that will only surface after certain situations happen, such as when you become disabled or mentally incompetent. With you unable to explain your intentions, your loved ones may end up confused and disappointed, and they could pay much more in legal help to sort things out.
Colorado estate planning lawyers agree, and so does Consumer Reports. In the non-profit organization’s most recent review on popular will-writing products, they found out that some of the tools are inadequate, except when used for simple arrangements.
Some tools can only handle simple estates, and can’t deal with complexities like children with special needs, children from a previous marriage, estates large enough to be subjected to estate taxes, and property that has appreciated. These cannot help with unique circumstances.
Hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer
Unlike online tools, an estate planning lawyer will provide technical expertise. They can help parents find the best possible options when selecting a guardian for their children. They can also guide you to properly state dispositions. In wills, the language must be dispositive in nature, meaning it should settle an issue or conflict.
Sure, you can fix a dripping faucet, change your own oil, or refinish a table – but some things are just not meant to be done on your own. And that includes estate planning.