The Scary Truth of Online Legal Documents

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Many people are into do-it-yourself or DIY projects for every aspect of their lives. While DIY home improvement projects are great, should you DIY your legal documents?

Some online sites will let you create a will or a power of attorney for health care or financial documents, while other sites allow you to create a trust. These online forms make it easy for you to DIY your legal documents, simply answer questions and pay with your credit card at the end. Super easy and legal in all 50 states, right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, the average American does not always understand the difference is between a trust, a will, and a financial power of attorney document. For example, some people incorrectly believe that a will avoids probate court or some people believe they need a revocable trust when an irrevocable trust is better for their needs.

The use of these online, DIY websites allow this misinformation to continue, especially because users believe they will receive expert care while also saving money. This is a false sense of security.  Prices are misleading and an online service can’t create the same documents – tailored to your needs – and provide you with legal advice that a trusted and accredited attorney can.

Here are 7 issues you could run into when using a DIY legal forms site:

  1. The choice between multiple forms without an informed perspective on what form is the best fit for you.
  2.  A templated form that is not tailored to your financial and estate planning needs.
  3.  A website that will not review your answers and will not help you if something is incorrect.
  4.  Disclosure statements that state they are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm, and that they cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights,  remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies
  5.  Laws are state-specific and there is no way to confirm that the form you have selected is accepted in your state.
  6.  Websites may provide you with basic forms – but not a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs.
  7.  Incorrect documents and/or improper drafting of documents can cost you thousands of dollars, resulting in much more expense than doing it right the first time.

An experienced estate planning law firm, such as Carrier Law, will ask the right questions, find out your needs and design a plan that is tailored to you.  Not just filling in a blank form.

Here are 3 huge benefits of using an experienced estate planning attorney:

  1.  They will think of things that you have not. It is their job to cover all the bases and ask enough questions to make good recommendations.
  2.  The attorney will be trained and experienced in providing you with good legal advice as to why or why not a document is appropriate, and if appropriate, how it should be drafted.
  3.  The attorney will guide you in selecting your agents: Attorney-In-fact, Patient Advocate, Trustee, Guardian, Conservator, as well as designing a distribution plan for your assets upon your passing.

Preparing your estate plan needs to be done right, and your mistakes will not likely be caught until after you die, and then it is often too late to fix them. The team at Carrier Law is not only expertly trained but cares for you and your loved ones in a way an online form cannot. We work with you to create a plan that will protect your assets fully and give you peace of mind.

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to consult with our team of attorneys. Schedule an appointment or give us a call to learn more and get started. We look forward to helping you create a secure and protected future.

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