Do On-Line Wills Work?
In my admittedly-anecdotal experience, on-line Wills and Trusts accomplish the desired results about half of the time. The other half yield entirely-unanticipated messes.
A decade ago, on-line estate planning documents surged in popularity in the face of Legal Zoom and similar promotions.
But the aftermath was not nearly as helpful as promised. Here are a few observations:
First, about half of the on-line documents that I review are legally invalid. If any heir or family member chose to contest them, they would be thrown out by the local probate judge, leaving the situation in a chaotic state after it is too late to remedy.
Second, the cost of the on-line documents was often not that much less than having a Will professionally prepared. The savings promised by the on-line services were only dramatic in comparison to more somewhat over-stated costs attributed to practicing attorneys.
Third, for a person who has worked hard to accumulate a comfortable estate with the hope of blessing family, friends, and charities upon his or her passing, the risk of creating a nightmare scenario for the loved ones by trusting the on-line option is simply a risk that is not worth the reward.