The internet has made many previously difficult life tasks easier and more accessible. Shopping, getting insurance on your vehicle or even looking at home listings when you want to buy a new house are all much easier thanks to the internet.
Some people also think that the internet is a viable source of legal information or even legal documents. There are plenty of websites that will give you a free downloadable template for a last will or charge you only a few dollars to plug in your information and give you what they claim is it legally founded document. Are digital wills or estate plans as good as they seem?
One size does not fit all when it comes to estate planning
Your assets and family dynamics will be different than anyone else’s. That means that your estate planning needs are also relatively unique. You might want to leave one child more than another or disinherit someone who would otherwise have a right to your property. Doing that with a basic document from the internet will be very difficult.
Online last wills may not hold up in court
Downloading a document and plugging in your information can be a fast way to get your wishes on record, but it’s also a quick way to ensure that your estate winds up in probate court.
Online wills make it far too easy for people to commit fraud because there won’t be an attorney or a notary present to verify the identity or the mental capacity of the person signing. They also make it easy for people to challenge your wishes. Your children, spouse or other family members could very easily challenge your last will if you make one online.
Working with an attorney helps ensure that your last will complies with state law. It gives you the opportunity to address specific concerns for your family, and it will also ensure that there are adequate witnesses to validate your last well if someone chooses to challenge it.