Let’s be frank – getting your estate plan together isn’t cheap. I get asked all the time, “Why can’t I just use LegalZoom?”
There are many reasons. This article from MarketWatch does a good job of outlining many of them. LegalZoom isn’t an attorney and the company disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of its products. Most of what it offers are just fill in the blank forms; but life is not fill in the blank.
The first step in the estate planning process is determining what documents you need. When you meet with your attorney, you’ll wonder why in the world she needs all of this information from you. But we take a bird’s eye view of your life, your goals, your assets, and your liabilities and decide the best ways to help you get to where you want to be. There’s not a fill in the blank form that can provide that service for you.
And while I have my own bank of documents from which to pull when I start drafting an estate plan, I have never – in 14 years of practice – had two estates that were the same. Just as each person is different – with different goals and life circumstances – each estate plan must be tailored to accomplish that person’s goals.
Finally, you can either pay a little bit more now to get your plan in order or your family can pay a lot more later to get the ox out of the ditch. I have spent many an hour in court with feuding families and in every single case, we were dealing with non-lawyer drafted documents. Take the steps now to protect your family in the future.