What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do that Internet Software Companies Don’t Do?

What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do that Internet Software Companies Don’t Do?

It’s a good question.  You see the advertisements for companies like Legal Zoom on television, you see form books at Barnes and Noble or the library, and if you’re like most people, you wonder, “What does an estate planning attorney do that a form doesn’t do?”

WebMD.com

Relying on an Internet based document production company to create an effective estate plan is like using WebMD to diagnosis and treat medical problems.  As you page through a medical website, you may get enough information to ask your doctor good questions, but is it enough to diagnose and treat yourself or do your own brain surgery?   No.  It’s not.

The $69 Will

Legal Zoom wills start at $69; that’s less than you’d likely pay for dinner and a movie.  There is no legal advice, no application of the law to your unique personal situation, no customization, and no one for your family to turn to after you die.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Trying to save money on legal fees is likely short sighted and will cost you (or your family) much more in the long run.

When Will I Know if My Legal Zoom Will Won’t Work?

You won’t.  If your will and other estate planning documents don’t work, you will leave your family with a mess.  Legal Zoom has admitted on their own website that 80% of people don’t fill out forms correctly.

  • Will you fill out the forms correctly?
  • Will you execute the document correctly?
  • What if there is no self-proving documentation?
  • Will your will hold up to a will contest?
  • Who will testify that you were competent to sign your will?
  • What if you have personal wishes that weren’t included in your will?
  • Will you accidently disinherit a child because your will doesn’t control all of your property?
  • Will your spouse give any assets to a child from a previous relationship?
  • Will you own your assets properly?
  • Who will care for your pets after you’re gone?
  • What if a back up personal representative isn’t named?
  • Will your child’s inheritance be taken by a creditor in a divorce, bankruptcy, malpractice claim, or lawsuit?
  • What if you want to use a memorandum to give personal property to loved ones?

Lawyers Criticize Legal Zoom Because They’re Losing Business

This is actually not the case.  New Jersey Estate Lawyers make way more money cleaning up do-it-yourselfer’s messes than creating estate plans that actually work.

What Do Estate Planning Lawyers Do that Legal Zoom Doesn’t Do?

We bet you were wondering when we’d finally get around to answering that initial question.

Legal zoom sells documents.  They have software that inserts whatever you input – right or wrong.  You are limited to whatever offering the software includes and filling in the blanks is not personalization.

On the other hand, Bratton Scott estate planning attorneys serve as multi-generational trusted advisors, helping you to protect yourself and your family, keep you in control of your medical and financial decisions, and pass on your assets to those you love, in the way you want, and when you want.

In short, our Haddonfield NJ Estate Planning Attorneys design, draft, and implement estate plans that work, meaning your plan does what you want it to do.  Contact Bratton Scott and consult with our South Jersey Estate Planning Lawyers at 856-857-6000.  Your next step is to contact our office.  We look forward to hearing from you.