Seven Reasons to Avoid Online Estate Planning Document Services

You may wonder if online estate planning document services can save you money and time when preparing a will, power of attorney, trust, or other estate planning document. However, most of these legal document companies are not operated by law firms or attorneys. You could be purchasing more than just a will if you choose to use a document service instead of an estate planning attorney in Brighton.

Seven Reasons Why You Need a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney Instead of an Online Document Service Company

  • Documents That Are Too Vague, General, And Broad

Online document services attempt to provide estate documents that adhere to the probate laws of 50 states. It is virtually impossible to draft one document that complies with the laws of all 50 states. Therefore, these documents are often very vague and general. When preparing estate planning documents, you need documents that are tailored to your specific needs and desires.

A Michigan estate planning attorney will ensure your documents adhere to state laws and are tailored so that your desires are carried out upon your death.

  • Communication is Not Privileged

When you meet with your attorney, attorney-client privilege protects your conversations with your attorney. However, many online document service companies are not operated by attorneys. Therefore, the conversations you have with a non-attorney employee of the company are not privileged. When you are dealing with sensitive legal matters, you may need the protections offered by attorney-client privilege.

  • Very Little Resource for Mistakes

If you read the fine print contained in the terms of use section for many online legal document companies, you will notice language that limits the liability of the company in the event of a problem. The language is intended to leave you with little to no recourse if the legal documents do not provide adequate legal protection or conform to probate laws in your state.

In most cases, there is also a clause that requires you to submit to binding arbitration to resolve disputes so that you cannot file a lawsuit if you suffer financial damages after using the legal documents provided by the company.

Therefore, you should be extremely cautious when you see terms such as:

  • Not valid in all states
  • No warranties implied or otherwise
  • Consult an attorney for legal matters
  • Do not rely on information for legal purposes
  • Disputes are resolved by arbitration
  • May include inaccuracies
  • The information contained herein should not be substituted for legal advice
  • Documents Are Outdated

State and federal laws change. Unfortunately, many of the forms purchased from online legal document websites were created years ago, and they are not updated when the laws change. For instance, the information contained in the forms and instructions may not reflect the changes in the new federal tax law. When dealing with estate documents, you want to ensure the forms are in line with current law because the result could be harmful to your heirs.

  • Forms are Not Prepared by Attorneys

Some legal document service companies contract with attorneys to prepare their forms.  However, the attorneys are not employees of the company and do not update the forms or modify the forms as necessary for individual customers. In some cases, forms are prepared by paralegals and other individuals who do not have a law degree. You and your family deserve to have an attorney who understands Michigan estate law guiding you as you develop a comprehensive estate plan to protect your best interests.

  • Selecting the Wrong Probate Forms

There are many different forms used in the estate planning process. Some of these forms may seem very similar, but the forms have very different meanings and purposes. For example, a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will may have a similar description on the website; however, these documents accomplish very different goals. Our Brighton estate planning attorney will help you choose the estate planning documents you need to achieve each of your goals.

  • You Need to Understand Your Legal Rights

When you are developing an estate plan, you need to understand your legal rights. Online legal document services do not explain probate laws or how those laws impact you, your estate, or your family. Because you are providing for your loved ones after your death, it is crucial you have an experienced attorney guide you through the process of developing an estate plan and draft the estate documents needed to carry out your wishes.

Call a Brighton Estate Planning Attorney for More Information

Call 888-390-4360 or use the contact form on our website to schedule an appointment with a Michigan probate law attorney. Our law firm assists clients in Brighton and throughout the surrounding areas, including -Bloomfield Hills, Novi, and Livonia with all probate and estate-related matters.

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