The value of hiring an estate planning attorney, rather than buying a will or trust online.
By Kiley Stuchlik, Attorney at Law
Online companies promising to make estate planning easy and affordable to consumers are prolific. We’ve had people ask us whether the documents they created online are valid. Of course, without reviewing the documents, we cannot say for certain whether they are in fact valid. Assuming the documents were executed in accordance with applicable state formalities, the documents created online should be valid.
This may leave you wondering—what’s the value of me hiring an attorney if I can create a valid will or trust online? The value of hiring an attorney is in the advice the attorney provides you throughout the drafting process, throughout your life, and to your family after your death. Let’s be real, if all we sold you at Stuchlik Law were documents, you might as well get them online. But we sell you a lot more than documents. We sell you our time and advice. We explain your options for planning, we explain what provisions in documents mean, we alert you as to circumstances that might require an update to your estate plan, and we help you with any follow up to your planning that is needed to ensure your goals are achieved. We are also available to answer questions that arise after your death.
When it comes to the advice that we as estate planning attorneys dispense, that advice was gained through experience counseling families through difficult problems, experience responding to issues that arose in estate administration (aka “probate), and experience with individuals who engaged in DIY estate planning and made a mess for their families.
If you’re considering utilizing an online will and trust company or engaging in any sort of DIY planning without the help of an estate planning attorney, please ask yourself the following questions:
A competent estate planning attorney is not just a local drafting company. We strive to be a trusted advisor willing to walk you through provisions in your documents, the pros and cons of certain estate planning tools, and alert you to certain issues that you should be aware of as you age and circumstances change throughout your life. We also hope to provide you with a peace of mind that you’re not going to receive when you take the chance with a DIY or online estate plan. If you’re ready to gain peace of mind and get your affairs in order with the help of a trusted local advisor, we are here to help.
Steve Stuchlik - Attorneys at Stuchlik Law PLLC practicing estate planning, probate, real property, and local government law.