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The pitfalls with DIY on-line wills and trusts

Updated: Oct 30, 2018


Do it yourself on-line wills and trusts are actually very dangerous because there are so many pitfalls something almost always goes wrong. If your do it yourself estate plan doesn’t work as you intended the results could be catastrophic. Even if nothing goes wrong at all, there are usually strategies that could have been employed that would have saved you and your beneficiaries time, money and heartache if properly utilized.

Many if not most internet forms are generic and full of boiler plate language, making them a “one size fits all” solution to your own personal and unique situation. It is important for people to understand that there is a difference between a document, such as a will or a trust, and a comprehensive estate plan. 


Many Internet forms are so generic and vague that they often fail to effectively grant the designated agent or trustee the necessary powers to properly manage and protect your assets. This can cause huge problems including prolonged delays and additional unnecessary costs. Furthermore, inadvertent mistakes can be made that can result in your loved ones ending up in court, fighting and spending thousands of dollars to fix the problem.


While some do-it-yourself wills and trusts may be touted as being as easy as "Click, Print and Sign" they often are modified by the user in such a way that they no longer accomplish the desired results. Having a will and a trust prepared by a skilled attorney as part of a comprehensive estate plan can be relatively inexpensive when compared to the damage and costs that can result from improperly drafted documents. When you meet with an estate planning attorney you are not paying for a stack of documents, but rather his or her advice, expertise and counseling.


For a free comprehensive review of your situation, risks, and potential solutions, feel free to call me at (904) 860-4797


Richard Selinger

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