This is an article from Parman & Easterday (www.parmanlaw.com) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that we thought others may find helpful.
Many people who decide they need a will are going to consider an online will. You should NOT make your last will and testament using an Internet website or a kit you buy on the Internet. Your last will and testament is one of the most important documents you will make over the course of your lifetime and it is vital to ensuring your family’s financial security in the future. Making a DIY will using sources you find on the Internet is asking for problems you cannot afford with something this important.
Instead of trying to make an online will, you should get comprehensive legal advice about the creation of a full estate plan. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create a legally valid last will and testament to provide you and your loved ones with the security you need for an uncertain future.
3 Reasons an Online Will is a BAD Idea
An online will is a bad idea for a number of reasons, but some of the key reasons include the following:
- An online will may not be valid. Each state has very specific rules to follow regarding what should be included when a will is created and how a will must be written, signed, and witnessed. When you use the Internet or an online kit, you may end up thinking you have a legally valid last will and testament, but what you wind up with really isn’t an enforceable will in your state.
- An online will may not be comprehensive. You want to make sure your will covers the important issues that matter to YOU. This usually means not just determining who inherits assets, but it could also address other important issues, such as making plans for a guardianship for your underage children.
- A will may not be the best or only estate planning tool you need. If you are leaving money to someone under 18, disabled, or irresponsible money habits, there are better tools to use than a last will and testament. Simply leaving money in a will could actually cause a number of problems. You need to use the right estate planning documents to protect your heirs or beneficiaries, so the gift you give is a blessing.
Depending upon your family and personal situation, there may be many other reasons why an online will is NOT going to be sufficient to provide the necessary protection for you and the people you love.
Why You Should Get Help Creating Your Will
If you get the right legal help from an experienced attorney, your attorney can make sure you follow the formalities needed to make your last will and testament a legally valid will, one that is likely to be enforced during the probate process so your wishes are respected.
Your attorney will help you include the essential clauses you need for the protection of your family and will help you take steps to avoid estate tax (if applicable to your estate). With help from an experienced attorney, you can also make full and effective use of a wide variety of estate planning tools, like trusts, that provide you with more control and provide essential protection for your heirs or beneficiaries.
You do not want your legacy to cause your family to fight. You do not want your loved ones to be left without the inheritance they should have received because of problems with your will or the high costs of probate resulting from a contested will. If you work with a good estate planning lawyer, the estate planning process should be simple, easy and effective, as well as provide you and your loved ones with the protections you deserve.