Naperville Estate Planning Attorney Discusses Online Estate Planning

online estate planning, Naperville estate planning attorneysOver the last 25 years or so, the internet has grown to become an important part of everyday life in the United States. Online connectivity has woven itself into everything from education and industry to home electronics and even our automobiles.

In my practice, I have also seen the impact of the internet on how people approach various aspects of the law, including their estate planning concerns. There are hundreds—if not thousands or more—of websites that offer estate planning guidance and a variety of fill-in-the-blank forms that can be used to create an estate plan. Some sites even promise to help individuals develop fairly complex estate plans without the need for a lawyer. But, is online estate planning a good idea?

How Will You Know What You Need?

Online estate planning sites, in general, provide basic checklists and simple descriptions of the estate planning tools you may need. It is mostly up to you, however, to select the right ones for your situation.

When you work with an estate planning attorney, he or she will sit down with you and analyze your current situation as well as how it is likely to change in the future. Based on his or her experience, your attorney can recommend different tools and techniques to meet your specific needs.

Choosing Your Fiduciaries, Agents, and Beneficiaries

Estate planning involves selecting individuals to serve in various capacities regarding the administration of your estate. You may also choose people as your powers of attorney for healthcare or property. Of course, the most common reason to create an estate plan to determine who will receive your assets and property upon your death, so naming beneficiaries is also necessary.

While estate planning websites may offer you some things to think about when selecting people for each of these roles, your attorney can initiate an in-depth discussion on the matter. He or she can ask questions about your selections and point out possible concerns before the related documents are signed and executed.

Simple vs. Complex Concerns

Online estate planning may be suitable for certain aspects of relatively straightforward estate planning. For example, you will probably not have a problem if you create and routinely update an advance medical directive or power of attorney for health care using online resources. When it comes to writing your will or setting up a trust, however, you cannot be too careful as a small mistake could cost your estate—and by extension, your beneficiaries—a great deal of money, not to mention time and energy.

The assistance of an attorney becomes even more necessary when your situation includes special needs family members, extensive investments, or business holdings. Such considerations must be addressed properly and online estate planning sites do not generally provide the flexibility and direction you will need.

Call Us Today

If you have been thinking about using a website to create your estate plan, we invite you to contact our firm before you make any decisions. Speak with one of our experienced Naperville estate planning attorneys and find out how a skilled professional can make a world of difference. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.