Friday, May 2, 2014

Wills: Can I just use an online form?

You know you need a will (and if you don't, then stop and read this first) but it's a tough topic to think about, it's time consuming, and you aren't sure where to start.  For many people they turn to google and what pops up?  Online forms for will (think legal zoom type websites).  It's cheap, it's convenient, it's easy, so why not use it?

Ultimately, the decision on if you get a will done and how you reach that end goal is up to you.  However, you should think twice before you bypass a professional in the process.  Cheap, convenient and easy may sound great, but is it complete, thorough and in accordance with the laws of your state?  That's the more important question.

Working with an attorney to have a will drawn up is more than a simple document.  Through working with an attorney, rather than filling out a form, you receive state specific legal advice.  This means, we know the law.  We know how the law has changed and we know the consequences of the law.  We can look at your plan and point out holes or misconceptions and explain to you the reality of the results of your plan for your will. 

Working with an attorney will provide you with the opportunity to look at the bigger picture.  What are you missing with only having a will in place?  Are there other documents you need to protect yourself (such as titling assets a specific way)?  An attorney can show you the bigger picture and provide you with the resources you need to ensure you have a complete plan for the future. 

Additionally, in the future, should you decide you want to change your plans for your will, you can revisit your attorney, who has a past history and extensive knowledge of your situation, for advice on how to achieve your new goals.  To sum up, it may be more expensive, it may be slightly more work and inconvenience to seek the advice of an attorney on a will, but an online form is only going to get you a final product that may or may not reflect your wishes and goals; an attorney is going to provide you with additional resources, a big picture, and the ability to adjust your will more easily in the future.

If you need a will or need to update your will and would like a consultation, please contact us at (804) 447-0146 or clbaudean@baudeanlaw.com.