Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Warns About Online DIY Estate Planning

online estate planning, Naperville estate planning lawyerIf you are reading this, you are probably someone who has at least considered the importance of estate planning. Perhaps you have a vague feeling that you should be planning for your and your family’s future, but you are unsure where to start. The world of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and beneficiary designations can be overwhelming to say the least.

While doing research regarding how to protect and transfer your estate you may have come across an online services which promises to make estate planning a breeze. These sites often boast about how much less expensive their services are than an attorney, and for those looking for a good bargain, online estate planning services sound like a reasonable option. Although some do use these services with success, depending solely a website to on an online service to plan your final affairs is a dangerous proposition.

Professional-Appearing Websites Lead Customers to Overestimate the Sites Legitimacy

When you come across a website that offers document creation or other estate planning services, it will look as legitimate as any other legal website. A potential customer may be led to assume that the online service offers similar benefits to those offered by a law firm, but this is rarely, if ever, the case.

These do-it-yourself document service websites are not law firms, and they do not, in general, give you access to attorneys. Instead, the sites are staffed by “document assistants” who are not required to undergo the education, accreditation, or training an attorney does. Because the staffers involved in these websites are not attorneys, they cannot give legal advice. A document assistant, for example, cannot recommend the best choices for your unique situation. Nor can he or she adequately warn you that you are making serious mistakes while creating your plans. In fact, the companies cannot guarantee that documents created through their website will be legally-enforceable or that there will even be a usable result from the money, time, and effort spent on the online services.

Legal Documents Created Without the Help of a Lawyer Could Be Invalid

A person who uses a DIY legal document service is risking that the documents they have drafted are not valid. Documents which do not meet the court’s standards are likely to be set aside as unenforceable. For instance, imagine someone had created a DIY will which directs specific properties to go to his children upon his death. If during the probate process, the will is found to be unenforceable, the deceased person’s children may not receive the inheritance their father intended. The state will ultimately decide how property is disseminated when a person passes away without a valid will .

Furthermore, having vague or erroneous wills and trusts created by unprofessional document assistants can leave a person’s surviving family to clean up a complicated legal mess. Drafting your estate planning documents with a licensed estate planning attorney helps ensure that your documents are valid and that your final desires will be fulfilled.

Contact Us Today

The highly-qualified Naperville estate planning attorneys at The Gierach Law Firm are here to assist with all your estate planning needs. To schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team, call 630-756-1160.

 

Sources:

CBS News

CNBC