Let’s talk about estate planning. You’ve made the decision to get a Will drafted, or perhaps something in your situation has changed which now requires you to update your Will. You think maybe it’ll be easier to draft one on your own or maybe you should look online to have one filled in for you. We are living in an age where technology is constantly advancing and users are looking for the fastest, easiest way to do things. We can have food from any restaurant delivered to our front door. We don’t even have to leave the car to do our grocery shopping – just fill out your order, pay, and park at the store. For most things you want to do, there’s “probably an app for that.”
So, it is not surprising that more and more apps for legal services are popping up. In fact, there are several “free” services online to help you draft a variety of legal documents, like a Will. But should you use one of these apps, or download a template online, and do this yourself?
Why should you hire an attorney instead?
Well, for one, the attorney you choose is licensed in Virginia and knows the specific requirements Virginia has for your estate documents. The attorney also understands the various provisions to include or exclude from your document. Sometimes, the “free” version includes things that are not applicable to your situation. Allow the attorney to help you sift through what is necessary for your specific documents. It is also important to have the attorney walk you through the documents, section by section, and explain what each part means and how it applies to you. You don’t always get that from an app or a template.
Additionally, while having a Will is important, there are other documents you should consider drafting at the same time. These documents – an Advanced Medical Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney – can help protect you while you are still living. It is your opportunity to direct how you want others to care for your finances or the decision you want them to make for your medical care, especially if you cannot make those decisions for yourself. Many of these “free” services do not offer these additional documents, which can be just as important as having a Will in place.
Your attorney’s office will also be able to help you execute these documents. The legal formalities for your Will and other estate documents need to be followed. Allow your attorney to help you with that.
When you hire an attorney to do your estate documents, you get peace of mind that the document is done right and that it should stand up in court to any potential challenges. If you do not have a Will or other estate documents, or if you need yours updated, call or text Holcomb Law at 757-656-1000 and let one of our attorneys guide you through the process and bring you the peace of mind that your assets and your future are secure.
If you have just completed a family law matter, you may want to consider updating your current Will/Estate Documents. Take a look at our other blog post regarding why this may be something to consider here.