There are many websites where you can draft your Will, but do you really know what you are getting?
Always remember, you get what you pay for.
Before you have some website create important Estate Planning documents for you, consider the following:
1. Generic Documents
Many of the sites offer generic documents that are intended to be a “one size fits all”. When it comes to estate planning, this is not the time for you to try on a “one size fits all” document. You may have very specific needs that cannot be addressed in the generic document. What if you want to leave someone out of your will? What if you want to leave a specific item to someone? What if you want to make sure if a child predeceases you that your grandchild gets their share? These documents are often templates and may or may not allow you to address your questions and concerns.
2. Every state has different legal requirements.
Each state has its own inheritance tax laws, as well as certain requirements to make a valid Will. Are you confident that the generic forms cover your state’s requirements? In Indiana, you must be 18 years old, of sound mind and the Will must be signed by two disinterested witnesses. The website does not offer you witnesses to sign your Will, so even when you are done printing there are still steps to be followed to make sure the Will is valid.
3. Consulting an attorney?
Many of these sites do not have an attorney walking you through the process, or even offer to have an attorney contact you before drafting your documents. If you have questions there is little guidance. Often you will even find a disclaimer that this is not to be considered legal advice. Who will you ask the important questions of what can I and what can’t I put in a Will? Or how do leave or specifically not leave someone, something? What is best for you, based on your current martial, familiar, or financial situation? There are various types of Wills and Trusts, depending on your specific needs that you should consider before choosing a Will.
4. Making changes.
Many times your Will is not retained by the website and any changes you may want to make requires you to start over. Before you make those changes, are they even necessary? The website will not be able to advise you on whether changes are necessary or not.
5. You retain your own Will. Sounds great, right?
What happens if you spill your morning coffee on the file you just safely placed your Will in? What happens if you have a fire? Or the safe with your Will was just stolen? Your original Will is now gone and cannot be replaced. You will have to go online and start over, and probably pay the cost again to recreate it. Most courts require the original Will, not a copy in order to probate it. As a courtesy to our client’s, we retain your original Will in a fire proof safe, and you are welcome to it at any time.
6. Other essential Estate Planning documents.
Along with a Will, do you have a Power of Attorney? Did you know a Will only kicks in after death? What if you or your significant other becomes incapacitated? Who will make your, financial and medical decisions? These are documents we strongly suggest everyone have. See if the website you are one explains the need for a Power of Attorney and that there are different types, financial and health care. An experienced attorney can explain each of these to you and when and how they may come into play, to help you make an informed decision on whether you need them or not.
We are experienced attorneys at Perry Law Office and offer free phone consultations. We will happily walk you through the process and answer all of your questions and resolve any of your issues. We then draft your Estate Planning documents to fit your individual needs.
Wills, Financial Power of Attorneys, Health Care Power of Attorneys, and Living Wills, are important documents and choosing the right combination of estate planning documents can be daunting. Do you need all of these? Maybe? Let’s talk about it and decide what is the appropriate for your current needs. There are also reasons that arise that would cause you to update your plan, and you should be reviewing it with every major life change. Since our attorneys have been working with you from the beginning, they will help you make changes to your plan with ease and advise you on whether an updated Will or Power of Attorney is necessary for you.
Perry Law Office, your local Fort Wayne attorneys. Call us today, 260-483-3110