There are many reasons to rely on the aid of a professional to create your will; poorly drafted wills could leave your cherished possessions in unintended hands. Paying a lawyer to create a will can be expensive, however, especially if you factor in the ongoing costs associated with keeping your will up-to-date.
A lower cost alternative exists in the many online services that can generate a will for you. Some of these services provide a quality product, especially if your needs in an estate plan are simple. And provided you follow the formalities required by the laws of your state, an online service can be a way to obtain a more professionally created will for a lower cost.
There are still some advantages to hiring an attorney, of course. When you can meet with someone face-to-face, you have more of a guarantee that the professional will better understand your needs and expectations. Sometimes your estate plan can be better served with a different type of structure, such as with a living trust rather than a last will and testament.
Additionally, establishing a relationship with an attorney will make updating your estate plan easier, as you can return to the same practitioner. Many lawyers offer discounts for clients who retain their services for creating updated wills. And if things go wrong, an attorney’s malpractice insurance can help cover financial losses you face, while online services might only offer a money-back guarantee.
If you choose to create your will online, make sure that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the laws and requirements of the state you live in. You will want to feel comfortable with the will’s language and the effect it will have on your property distribution. Make sure the service you select is credible; ones that employ actual attorneys to review the documents before sending them to you are ideal.
Ensure that the company will provide you with the steps you must follow after the will has been created. If the will is signed or witnessed improperly, your will is at risk of being disregarded. Make sure the online service you choose will provide you with state-specific information about the number of witnesses you need, whether the witnesses must actually be present when you sign your will, and any other formalities you must follow to ensure proper execution of your will.