So you know need a will or a trust but you figure you have a modest estate that should be relatively simple to plan for and want to save a few bucks to do-it-yourself. Maybe you go to legalzoom® or another do-it-yourself estate planning website and you naturally think you’ll be saving some time and money. The problem is do-it-yourself online estate plans do NOT prevent you from needing an attorney, the do-it-yourself generated documents merely make it more difficult and expensive in the end for everybody else.
Do you know what asset protection options are available for your children’s inheritance if you created a trust online? Would you even know to ask this question if you’re doing it all by yourself? Now that you’ve created your trust did you know that you still have change title to almost all of your assets? What do you do when a loved one passes away and you’ve created a joint living trust? Do you need to divide the living trust into A and B trusts now? Did you know that you’ll have re-title some of your assets? Questions like these are critical and online sites such as legalzoom® do not have an attorney available to talk to nor or they permitted to provide legal counseling. In fact if you take a look at their disclaimer it states: “LegalZoom is not a law firm, and the employees of LegalZoom are not acting as your attorney. LegalZoom’s legal document service is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. LegalZoom is not permitted to engage in the practice of law. LegalZoom is prohibited from providing any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation to a consumer about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.” When you’re planning your entire estate out you need the guidance of professional legal advice. Inevitably you will have questions about something and you need an attorney to turn to when you have these questions. At The Kleinkopf Law Firm we do not charge hourly and we encourage all questions you have. The way to begin planning your estate is to become as educated as possible about estate planning so you can make the best decision for you and your family.