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Reasons to Choose an Attorney Over Using Online Forms 

Gregory, L. Williams, Jr., Esq., Partner. Oct. 26, 2022

Awareness of your own mortality can feel scary and uncomfortable, which is why so many people put off estate planning. Creating an estate plan may not be easy, but it needs to be done sooner rather than later.  

With the ever-increasing popularity of DIY tools online, many people use online forms to create estate plans as a cheaper and “easier” alternative to hiring an attorney. However, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t use online estate planning forms and you would be better off hiring an experienced estate planning attorney to guide you through the process.  

I provide compassionate guidance and personalized service to individuals and families throughout Central Ohio. With an office in Westerville, Ohio, I help clients craft comprehensive estate plans for clients in Columbus and surrounding areas.  

Why You Shouldn’t Use Online Estate Planning Forms 

Many people mistakenly believe there is no need to think about estate planning until they get older or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. In reality, you should start working on your estate plan while you are still young, in good health, and of sound mind. If you choose to wait, the right time for an estate plan may never come, or worse, it will be too late to create one.  

Having an estate plan can give you and your loved ones peace of mind and provide you with control over your future. Even though every adult can and should have an estate plan, the vast majority of Americans do not have one. According to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons, 6 in 10 Americans have no will or living trust.  

Because planning for the future seems so complicated, many are willing to rely on DIY estate planning forms online to simplify things. Those online forms provide people with an alternative to hiring an attorney… or so they think. Drafting an estate plan online has some notable benefits, such as ease of use and low cost (some of the services are free).  

However, when you weigh the pros and cons of using an online estate planning template instead of hiring a knowledgeable attorney, those services do not seem such a good option anymore. As an estate planning attorney, I have seen first-hand the mess that can be made by those DIY estate planning services.  

Online Forms vs. Estate Planning Attorney  

While using an online form to create an estate plan may seem appealing, it is often not the best option for people who need a well-drafted estate plan and do not want to encounter legal issues down the line. Below are some of the reasons to choose an estate planning attorney over DIY estate planning tools: 

  • Your estate plan will comply with state law. Most estate planning templates found online are not state-specific. It means that if you create an estate plan using online forms, there is no guarantee that your plan will meet state-specific requirements. If it doesn’t, your estate plan can be invalidated by the court. A knowledgeable attorney is well-versed in the laws of your state and can help you craft a valid and enforceable plan.  

  • You will avoid issues. A comprehensive attorney can help you identify and take necessary measures to avoid potential issues with your plan. No DIY estate planning service is able to do that because online forms provide one-size-fits-all solutions. When working with an experienced attorney, you can create an estate plan tailored to your specific circumstances, needs, and goals.  

  • You will get legal advice and guidance you can trust. When using online forms to create an estate plan, there will be no one to provide you with legal advice and guidance. An attorney, on the other hand, can provide trusted legal support to help you make informed decisions throughout the process.  

In my practice as an estate planning attorney, I helped numerous people correct estate planning documents created using online forms. I have seen first-hand how inaccurate and incomplete those estate planning templates can be.  

Get Trusted Legal Support Today 

Before using online forms, ask yourself, “Do you really want your estate plan to be left to chance?” When it comes to your legacy and your family’s future, you cannot take chances. As an estate planning attorney, I help clients develop and implement comprehensive and customized estate planning solutions. Contact my office in Westerville, Ohio, to get trusted legal support today.