Can you use an online template to create your will?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is a crucial process that involves preparing for the distribution of your assets and the protection of your loved ones after you’re gone. While the convenience of online estate planning templates may be appealing, there are several compelling reasons why you should avoid them and seek professional guidance instead.

Primarily, online estate planning templates provide generic, one-size-fits-all solutions. Your estate plan should be tailored to your unique financial situation, family dynamics and personal preferences. Ultimately, estate planning is more than just document preparation; it’s about making informed decisions. Seeking legal guidance can help you make choices that align with your objectives.

Why online templates should be avoided

Failing to customize your plan properly may result in unintended consequences and complications for your beneficiaries. Estate planning involves navigating complex legal issues, including tax laws and probate regulations that vary by jurisdiction. Online templates may not account for state-specific laws or consider the most current legal requirements, potentially leaving your estate exposed to costly mistakes and/or disputes.

Additionally, online templates may not adhere to the formalities required for a valid estate plan in your jurisdiction. An improperly executed plan can be deemed invalid, rendering your wishes unenforceable. Although many online platforms try to account for state-specific procedures, the law is always evolving and you just can’t be sure that any boilerplate language or formatting meets current guidelines. 

While online estate planning templates may seem like a cost-effective and convenient solution, they come with significant risks and limitations. Estate planning is a complex and highly individualized process that should not be entrusted to a one-size-fits-all approach. Seeking personalized legal feedback is generally a superior way to safeguard your interests when crafting an estate plan.