If you are beginning to think about how to manage your estate in the event that you become deceased or disabled, it may be tempting to turn to some of the many tools available online. Skilled wills and trusts lawyers will almost always advise against this, and it’s not because they’re trying to get your money.
While it’s possible that some online estate planning tools can work for your situation, it’s much more likely that you’ll end up trying to force your situation to fit their cookie-cutter approach. The end result is that no one truly gets what they need or want.
For example, the typical modern family can be pretty complicated. There may be step-parents, half-siblings, and multi-generational issues that are just more complex than what a simple web-based tool is prepared to help you create. Additionally, you may be limited in the number or types of trusts you can set up or how your will must be executed. Not only will you be unable to set up precisely what you want and need, but any ambiguity can also open your will up to being contested. At that point, your planning can become almost worthless as the estate can go into probate, racking up court and lawyers’ fees while potentially disregarding your actual wishes.
Instead, take the time to visit with a flesh-and-blood wills and trusts lawyer. Many even offer a free consultation to let you know what they can do for you and to give you a chance to ensure that you feel comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with checking out a couple of attorneys before making a decision, and you may even find that friends and family have some great recommendations for you based on their own experiences. Law, rules and procedures do vary, not only by state but also by county, so choose a wills and trusts attorney from the Marietta area to help ensure that your documents are going to hold up in Cobb County.
Online estate planning tools seem like they offer the world, but it’s really important to recognize their limitations. While they may be a bit less expensive than a wills and trusts attorney up front, they often cost so much more in the long run. Consider meeting with a lawyer to at least compare what you are able to get out of each scenario before making a decision about which method to use. There’s a good chance you will discover that it’s just hard to beat the flexibility and assurance that comes from working with a real professional.