How do you decide whether or not to just do your will online?
Here is a list of situations where you might want to see a live person in addition to (or instead of) doing a will online.
- You have significant assets: estate planning requires deep knowledge of tax codes and understanding how to allocate your assets to maximize the amount of your wealth that goes to your family and the philanthropic causes you care about–if you want to make sure your assets are properly allocated, you should probably see a professional
- You or your partner are not US citizens: given the complexities involved when other countries’ laws and regulations are involved, we recommend you consult an expert on what you might need to think about
- You have dependents: whether you are concerned about your children or others whom you are a guardian or caregiver for, you may want to talk to a live person to ensure that the people who depend on you are taken care of should something happen to you
- You think someone might contest the contents of your will: if there is any chance that someone in your life might refute what you write in your will–an ex-spouse, a sibling, etc.–you should make sure that your documents are ironclad
- You are a business owner: you may want to consult someone on succession planning, and think through how you would keep the business running and how your ownership would be passed on
- You have a same-sex partner: given the differences state-by-state, it is recommended to make sure everything is written out clearly to avoid possible contestation
- You have any questions about the process and would like to talk to someone: some of us just feel better talking to a real live human about such matters. If you are someone like that, we definitely recommend you see an expert who can guide you on this.
Of course, if you try a free service to create a will, you don’t have much to lose (except for time). You can always do a free service and then see an estate attorney if you feel like you need to.
See our post reviewing the top 5 digital will services if you are interested in learning more.