There are many online DIY legal providers that charge little for estate planning documents, but the problem is that they lure you into a false sense of security. The main problem with these standard forms is due to their one-size-fits-all packaging – the documents are pre-drafted and you have a limited number of options to spell out your wishes; they won’t be able to capture all the intricacies of your wishes. Your situation will always be unique, but these DIY legal providers do not know that. They are not your attorney – in fact, one of them, Legal Zoom, has a disclaimer warning you that their documents are not substitute for the advice of an attorney. In addition, you might fill out the documents incorrectly or have them signed, witnessed and notarized incorrectly.
This issue has been discussed heavily online – feel free to Google this – you’ll find many examples of issues that could come up when you do your own documents with an online provider. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be lured into doing a $69 will unless you would be willing to have a licensed attorney review it after you are done. You might as well have a qualified and experienced estate planning do your documents in the first place – this person will do so only after talking with you and learning about your circumstances and this person will then review the drafts with you to make sure you understand the documents and that they capture your wishes. Sure, paying for an attorney to prepare a very personalized estate plan is more expensive than the nominal charges you’d find with the DIY legal providers, but an improperly drafted estate plan will be far more costly to fix and you may not even be around to defend yourself or explain your wishes.