Something new on the market that has constantly come up due to the fear of CoVID-19 is the legality of online wills, whether on a web site or on a smartphone app. I was recently asked to share my opinion on these, so I thought it would be a great topic for the blog.

My answer is pretty straightforward: unless there is a competent attorney customizing the will, electronic wills are ineffective.  Nowadays, everyone is an arm-chair lawyer and/or doctor. Yes, transactional lawyers draft agreements.  That is what we do, but that is only one part of what we do.

Attorney-Prepared Estate Documents

The real benefits of having a real and competent attorney prepare estate documents are:

  1. You receive updated advice based on current trends in the law
  2. You can rely on their advice in the event you get challenged in court. (if you are ever sued or the advice is called into question, you cannot go to court and say, I read it on the Internet, or I found this template online, or one of the document-mills did it for me. In reading most of their fine print, it says, they are not attorneys.

Dangers of Online Wills and Trusts

And to top that off, here are some reasons NOT to pursue an online or DIY estate planning document:

  1. Any kind of DIY policy can leave you paying for costly mistakes. Even if a web site stresses that is has a staff of attorneys, chances are the legal documents they offer are streamlined – NOT customized and therefore, could be riddled with loopholes.
  2. While there are many online services available to handle personal situations like taxes and home-buying, but when it comes to wills and trusts, remember that you’re not going to be the one dealing with the details. It will be your loved ones that have to fight for what an incorrect legal document failed to protect.
  3. Many people think that when you write down a will on a piece of paper, you’re completely covered. However, it’s easy to leave important pieces out of a will if you don’t know the laws of the state you live in. Also, if there’s a chance your will can be contested, you’ll want to make sure it’s legally binding.

I’m all about getting a good deal when it makes sense. When it comes to legal wills and trust, hiring a knowledgeable attorney just makes sense. This is just one area that YouTube can’t train someone on.

Until next time, I’m Francine D. Ward, estate planning, wills, and trusts attorney. Keep yourself safe, friends.

Francine D. Ward headshot

Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

Follow Francine:

Don’t miss Francine’s Latest Blogs:

  • Legal Copyright Infringement: Avoid Breaking the Law
    Legal Copyright Infringement is honestly an oxymoron- if it qualifies as Copyright Infringement, then it is, by definition, illegal. This being said sometimes it’s hard to know where the gray … Read more
  • Get Prepared Webinar
    Is anyone ever truly prepared for the passing of a loved one? My husband Richard Lipfield recently passed away from cancer.  He was only 78 years old. First diagnosed in … Read more
  • CoVID-19 and Intellectual Property
    It’s encouraging to witness a world agency recognizing a need and collaborating with creators and researchers alike to lay down competition and cost in order to fight a global pandemic.
  • Improve Your Well-Being During CoVID-19
    During this difficult time, I have been encouraging you to focus on the positive and improve your well-being. Here are some tangible topics to help you engage, grow, and become … Read more
  • A Full & Thankful Heart: Gratitude on Mother’s Day
    Always standing between me and anyone else was my mother’s voice. While it took me a number of years to learn, today I realize that until there was a healing … Read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!