In the modern digital age, almost any form can be located easily with just a few clicks of a mouse. Legal forms and kits are among the forms that can now be accessed rapidly and easily on the Internet. While it may be tempting to save a few dollars by using a do-it-yourself legal form, the ultimate cost could be much greater than the dollars you initially saved.
It seems as though there is a legal form required for almost anything you do. From getting married to starting a business to estate planning, everything requires a legal document to be created. While it is understandable that you may want to cut costs when possible and create any needed forms yourself, you may be costing yourself more money in the long run.
Take estate planning forms, for example. It is not hard to locate forms such as a Living Will, Last Will and Testament or even Trust forms online. Entire kits are available that profess to provide instructions for the completion of the forms. The problem with these kits, however, is that there is no “one size fits all” set of instructions. Both federal, and individual state, laws must be taken into account when creating and executing estate planning documents. Individual factors such as the size of your estate and the type of estate assets must also be considered. Moreover, differences in estate planning goals and facts and circumstances about a person’s family and other beneficiary choices do not lend themselves well to pick and choose menu selections in inexpensive software or web site. Failing to take all the necessary factors into consideration could result in invalidating the document or could result in costing you, or your beneficiaries, considerably more money than you would have spent by consulting with an expert to begin with.
In short, thoughtful and comprehensive estate planning is not for amateurs. As it is with other complex topics, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. A qualified and experienced estate planning attorney who has worked with thousands of clients to craft legal documents and strategies carefully tailored to a client’s circumstances, concerns and goals is the far wiser course to choose.
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