It seems like more and more of our lives are going online. The COVID pandemic has definitely accelerated this path to
digital. What can’t we do online these days? You might be thinking that one of the DIY online platforms are good options to help you create an estate plan. After all, you’ve been
able to prepare and file your taxes online for years – what makes estate planning so much different?
Here are 7 reasons why you should work with an estate lawyer like me instead of downloading legal
forms from the web:
Estate planning is about your life, your needs and empowering you with information you need to make informed decisions.
Many people imagine that as an estate planning lawyer, I spend day after day drafting wills. Wills are just one part of what I do. My real focus is on understanding
your goals, objectives, needs and concerns. During our Estate Analysis Session, we discuss all of these things to make sure that the plan we put together reflects your actual needs so that you can
properly plan for yourself and your family. In addition to helping you plan and determine the correct legal documentation you
need, my job is to empower you with information and provide you insight regarding the protections you need.
When it comes to legal documents, like t-shirts, one size does not fit all.
Legal service web sites are set-up to provide fill in the blank legal documents to their customers. If all lives were the same, that would work. Because your life is
unique to you, there are still many small details that could make online documents ill-suited for your planning needs. Everyone’s circumstances, lives and assets are different. So too are their legal
needs, and a one size fits all approach simply does not work.
- We help prevent mistakes that turn out costly after death.
Lawyers are estate planning experts. I’ll help you identify and have a plan for issues that you didn’t even know you had. Many people
believe that online planning documents save time and money, but sadly they don’t always reflect the testator’s intention nor hold up to the legal process. Fixing mistakes often costs more money than
making a comprehensive plan with an estate planning lawyer in the beginning. Mistakes often are not limited to just the documents. At our office, we take the extra step above and beyond just drafting
your documents to also ensure that financial instruments are adequately retitled or proper beneficiaries are designated. This is something that is not achieved by online planning, and many lawyers
also fail to do this. As comprehensive estate planners, we make sure that all of these things are accounted and planned for when working with our clients. These mistakes may cost more in legal fees
after death or result in a plan that was not the decedent’s intent, and even worse these estate planning mistakes often create hidden costs such as family acrimony or heartbreak after the death of a
- Estate lawyers are experts in creating plans that properly care for your children.
Relying on generic wills or a lawyer who isn’t trained in the unique needs of parents with minor children can result in your children being placed into
the care of strangers. Although naming a guardian seems relatively straightforward, guardianship laws are so complex that even lawyers with decades of experience can make mistakes. But better
protection for your children means creating plans such as a Child Protection Plan with the assistance of a lawyer so your children are cared for, even when you can’t care for them
- Having an experienced, unrelated 3rd party is helpful to resolve unforeseen
The death of a loved one changes family dynamics, and not always in a positive way. Developing an estate plan with an experienced attorney provides you
with a third-party insight into your deepest wishes, and provides you with strategies and advice to avoid and resolve unforeseen conflict before they arise so that your family can carry out your
- Estate lawyers know state law.
While legal services online are designed to look sleek and are easy to access, they often fall behind in keeping current with changing state laws. With
fifty states to keep track of, sometimes new or changed state laws are not reflected within the legal documents that they provide. And if you have an estate tax issue, then you may risk your family
spending thousands in avoidable estate taxes. States’ laws have jurisdiction over estate probate and working with a lawyer who keeps current with state law is key.
- We help you keep your estate plans current.
Just like going to the doctor for regular check-ups help you stay in good health, once you’ve created your estate plan, you need to review it regularly.
That’s why I offer a free review of your estate plan every three years: to it keeps current with your life circumstances. We want to make sure that as your kids grow, your finances grow and
change, and as the law changes, your plan will still work for you and your family when you need it most.
Summed up, these seven reasons combine into one very important reason to work with our office to plan your estate: spare your
loved ones the heartache, headaches, and extra grief that come from fixing the problems that one size fits all legal documents often create. Contact our office to schedule your Estate Planning
Analysis Session so you can have peace of mind knowing that you, your wishes, and your family are taken care of now and in the future.