Problems you see using online services for estate planning, wills, and directives.

Posted on February 8, 2021 by Chris Kirker

Online legal services are continuing to grow in popularity as they offer inexpensive and easy ways for people to execute legal documents such as wills. Especially for individuals with simple and modest estates, these online-only services may seem particularly appealing. However, online-only services create many risks that may lead to expensive and unexpected consequences down the road. An experienced attorney can help you.

Estate planning is a complex area that requires significant legal knowledge and experience to fully understand. Every client has unique circumstances and goals that an attorney will explore with them before crafting a document that best serves their individual wishes. Online-only services simply cannot explore all of the unique aspects of each client, and most clients do not know enough about estate planning to supplement the online service. This can lead to inefficiencies in probate, missed tax benefits, and other unintended consequences. Online-only services also risk missing some of the state-specific language requirements for wills and other documents. This can result in documents containing language that Texas courts will not recognize and may not be able to enforce. 

Finally, events sometimes take place after a will is executed that make the effects of the will ambiguous or confusing. In such cases, the attorney who drafted the will can testify about the owner’s intentions and help the court interpret the will in the best way possible. Online-only services cannot provide this type of insurance on the documents they produce because nobody talked with the owner about their goals. 

Consulting with experienced estate planning attorneys is the best way to ensure that all of your wishes are carried out. If you would like to learn more about estate-planning services or put together an estate plan of your own, please contact Kirker|Davis today.


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