Free Online Will Services – What Are the Risks?
In today’s age, if you want anything, it is almost a guarantee that you can find it online. This includes free online will services. But are these services safe to use? What are the risks of free online wills?
What Are the Risks of Using a Free Online Will Service?
Free online will services bring to mind the common phrase: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is not true. While the word ‘free’ can attract our eyes, services that are free or cheap may reflect the quality that you will receive from them.
A will is a critical part of any estate plan. Your will decides who you want to inherit your assets upon your death. With that said, it is imperative to create a will that leaves no mystery as to who you want your beneficiaries to be.
Below is a breakdown of the several risks of using free online will services.
Risks of Free Online Will Services
Lack of Personalized Attention
This may seem obvious, but your specific needs do not directly match anyone else’s. This is a big reason that a free online will service can steer you in the wrong direction.
By creating your own will online, you do not receive the personal attention that is critical to create an effective will. As indicated above, a will is a significant document that is a huge part of your overall estate plan. Therefore, you should not be looking to cut any corners when creating your will – or any other parts of your estate plan for that matter.
Potential for Mistakes
Even with online guidance, the potential for mistakes in a do-it-yourself online will is very high. As referenced above, not receiving the personalized attention that you will need when creating your will can have significant negative consequences. The fine details of estate planning are not typically common knowledge. With that said, it is always best to have a team of experienced estate planning attorneys help you create your will and other parts of your estate plan.
Probate Laws Vary from State to State
Probate laws are not the same in every state in the U.S. – therefore, it is imperative that you work with an attorney who has extensive knowledge of these laws in your particular state. Free online will services often treat the process in a ‘one size fits all’ manner, which will not help you create a proper will that is tailored to your specific desires. Any mistakes in this area can lead to much trouble down the road after your passing.
Difficult to Update
Another key disadvantage of free online will services is that these services often do not let you make any updates to your will. At any time, our lives can change – sometimes drastically. Because of this, you may need to update your will to reflect these life changes. Some of these changes can include:
- Having children
- Beneficiary in your will passes away
By not being able to update your will, there is a high risk that your assets may not end up with the individuals you want them to end up with after your death. To avoid this nightmare scenario, it is best to steer clear of free online will services.
While a free online will service may sound convenient, the reasons outlined above bring to light why it is risky to utilize these types of services. If you are looking to create your will, update your will or work on any other parts of your estate plan, we are here to help you do just that. If you would like to learn more about various topics related to estate planning and elder law, check out our informative webinar series.