Many think that they can simply go online and learn how to do virtually anything. They tend to think that everything that they find there is written by someone who’s qualified to speak authoritatively about it. This is far from the case though,especially when it comes to legal documents, like a will.
Although it may seem easier and less costly to draft your will using a do it yourself (DIY) approach you find online, it may prove to be disadvantageous to you to do so in the end.
Poll results published by Caring.com in 2017 showed that more than 50 percent of Americans have never sat down to draft a will. While many would argue that using an online tool to create any estate planning document is better than taking no action at all, it’s not.
Although you may be tempted to use one of these companies to prepare a low-cost will, health care directive or other document, there’s no guarantee that the person performing the work is a licensed attorney in good standing. Even if they promise that a lawyer will prepare the document for you, they may not be licensed to do so in your own state.
There’s also no guarantee that the individual preparing your documents is an experienced estate planning attorney. If they’ve never stepped foot in a probate court hearing, then they may not have experience in contesting a will or proving that its testator was of testamentary capacity, or sound mind, when drafting it.
If you have significant assets or unique ones, have been married or divorced multiple times or have numerous kids, then these factors may impact how your will needs to be drafted that fill-in-the-blank forms don’t account for.
There isn’t a single approach to preparing wills or any other estate planning documents across every state or country. What may be legal in New York may not been seen the same way by a probate judge in California or Florida, for instance. This is why it’s imperative that if you live in Queens that you plan for your future under the guidance of an estate planning attorney familiar with New York laws.