Many websites advertise “Do your Will or Trust here for free!” or “Free forms for Advanced Directives!” Seeing this makes everyone wonder if they can do it themselves instead of hiring an attorney.
What many websites do not share is that online forms to create estate planning documents do not ask specific questions relating to you or your future. These are generic forms prepared to work for any person that finds them on the internet and may not be valid in all fifty states. Each state has different witnessing and attestation laws which may not cause your “free” form to be valid. Many of these “simple” documents may not contain provisions that will protect you and your family in the future, when you need them most.
Let’s say that you decide to still follow through with your online form. Are you completely sure you understand what a “provision” is? What about storing the document; do you need to inform your family of its location? Does your doctor need a copy of the form if it includes your new health care power of attorney? Preparing the forms yourself will cause an abundance of uncertainty and in the end may not be valid due to improper execution (signing in front of the proper witnesses or a notary public).
If you are uncertain about an online form, we would be happy to help you determine if the form is right for you. It’s easier for us to guide you in avoiding future problems than to remedy a problem arising from an improper document. Avoiding trouble is much more cost efficient in the end.