What will you accomplish in 2017? Is making a Will at the top of the list? Probably not, but you know you need to do it. It has been in the back of your mind for years now. Your financial advisor keeps nagging you to do it, and you worry about what would happen to your family if you were no longer here. You do not want to leave an expensive mess for your loved ones. Perhaps you will also keep that resolution about saving money and use one of those popular legal document websites (the ones that offer $50 Wills or even free legal documents).
Not so fast! Making a Will is one of the most important items you will ever attend to in your life. It is literally the last word you leave this world. Entrusting this matter to a website where you will likely have no interaction with a human could have devastating results when it is too late to fix the problem. While online legal document websites offer a quick, fast, and cheap transaction, the downside is that the process is just that, a transaction.
Making a Will should be more than a transaction. It is a process, and one best led by developing a relationship with a trusted advisor who will ensure that you and your family’s wellbeing are best served. Will it cost more? Yes, in all likelihood it will. However, “you get what you pay for.” Having the opportunity to sit down face to face and discuss your situation, however “normal” or “unique” it may be, will result in a well thought out and executed plan that will be ideal for your situation.
- Do you have a “blended” family? (children from prior relationships)
- Do you have special needs children or grandchildren?
- Do you have children with spouses you do not trust?
- Do you have potential estate tax issues?
These online legal websites may not ask you these questions. If the questions are not asked (and discussed) these critical details may be ignored.
The website may get everything right. Each and every important detail has been addressed, every “i” dotted and “t” crossed. The only thing standing between you and that perfect $50 Will is the print button. The Will is printed and signed, and then the inevitable happens. Your willing and well qualified executor takes your Will to the courthouse for probate, and the courthouse turns them away. The Will cannot be probated because it does not meet the formal requirements for execution of a Will in this state. The seemingly tiniest of details gets lost or ignored in the transaction, and results in a document that is 100% useless, and the cost of “fixing” the situation is multiples of what it would have cost to hire an attorney to navigate the process for you initially. Now, how much of a “bargain” was that “transaction”?
Knowing that you have the right plan in place will provide you with peace of mind, and knowing that your wishes will be carried out and your family will be taken care of is priceless.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call us, 704-892-1699. We have a team of estate planning and administration attorneys here and ready to help you!
Author: Amy Isaacs, Attorney
The McIntosh Law Firm, P.C.