Should You Use an Online Will or Hire an Attorney? The Reasons Hiring a Professional Lawyer is the Better Investment

Should you use an online will or hire an attorney? Sure, using a DIY site saves time and money in the short-term, but that same online site may lead to costly and unpleasant mistakes. People with complicated personal and financial lives assume the most significant risk when opting for online cookie-cutter estate planning services. But what if your estate plan is simple? Should you use an online will or hire an attorney? Below are the reasons why a professional attorney is better than an online form.

What’s in an estate?

Most people have an estate. An estate is made up of everything a person owns, including their home, other real estate, automobiles, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, investments, and personal property. No matter the size, from the substantial to the humble, all of us have an estate, and we can’t take it with us when we pass away.

Most people want to make sure their possessions are given to the people or charities of their choosing when they die. It is important to provide instructions stating who will receive things, what they are to receive, and when they are to receive them. Taking care of these tasks limits the potential for legal battles or family turmoil. An estate planner will help prevent critical mistakes and help as laws, plans, and circumstances change.

What’s in an estate plan?

Estate plans differ depending on the individual, however, a few primary documents include a will, trust, Power of Attorney documents, life insurance, retirement assets, a DNR order, an estate plan tax review, a designation of funeral representative, access and management of digital assets, and more.

Hiring a Professional versus Online DIY

* For people with complicated financial and personal lives, a limited online DIY will probably won’t adequately address their estate planning needs.

* Most DIY estate-planning sites have attorneys on staff, but help for your documents isn’t always available. If personalized support is available, it may be expensive.

* You don’t know what you don’t know. You may know how you’d like your assets distributed, but you may not know about legislation and case law that have evolved into Michigan’s probate code.

* DIY isn’t always as simple as it seems. Due to the complexities of trust language, probate code, and dealing with family dynamics, it may be easier to hire a professional to help you.

The estate planning and probate attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio in Sterling Heights offer comprehensive planning and administrative services to individuals and families. Contact one of our attorneys today for help with your estate planning and probate needs.