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Should you use an online estate planning tool?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Life is busy and going through the estate planning process seems like one more item on our never-ending to-do list. So, it’s understandable that using an online estate planning template is tempting.

Using an online template has its advantages, but it’s essential to understand its drawbacks.

Estate planning is crucial

There are several reasons why every adult needs an estate plan. It provides the following:

  • Your assets are distributed according to your wishes
  • Naming trusted individuals to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated
  • Outlining your wishes regarding end-of-life care
  • Naming guardians for any minor children
  • Establishing trusts to provide for family or special interests

For people with straightforward, non-complex estate planning needs, an online template can provide a practical and efficient way to ensure their wishes are documented. However, using an online estate planning service has several disadvantages:

  • Online forms often offer a one-size-fits-all approach that may not account for your unique circumstances
  • Estate laws vary significantly from state to state and can frequently change. Online forms may not be updated to reflect current laws.
  • There is an increased risk of making mistakes. Errors in estate planning can lead to confusion, disputes and potential legal battles among heirs.
  • Online forms typically cover only the basics and may not cover more complex aspects such as trusts, tax planning or special provisions for minor children or those with special needs.
  • Using an online form may give you a false sense of security. But without professional guidance, you may overlook critical components or misunderstand some of the legal terminology. 

Your loved ones and estate are too valuable to trust to an online estate planning service. Working with someone who understands Virginia’s laws will ensure your estate plan is comprehensive and legally sound.