Estate planning attorneys have always advised people to think twice before assuming that it is easy to plan your own estate using downloads or worksheets that you find on the Internet. But of course lawyers do make a living assisting clients who need to create binding legal documents so there could be cynics who take these cautions with a grain of salt.
However, if you are looking for independent confirmation with regard to the perils of do-it-yourself estate planning look no further than the widely respected publication Consumer Reports.
They have recently probed into the relative usefulness of online downloads that guide customers through the creation of a Last Will. The way that they went about it was to create last will documents utilizing the resources provided by three different prominent do-it-yourself document services.
Consumer Reports subsequently asked three prominent legal professors to evaluate the documents. What they found was that the tools make it possible to include clauses that contradict one another. They were also uncomfortable with the wording, suggesting that in some cases the actual wishes of the testator may not be expressed clearly enough.
After evaluating all of the input from the professors Consumer Reports flatly stated that it is not a good idea to use these services to plan your estate unless perhaps it was the simplest possible situation such as passing on everything to your husband or wife.
The only way to be sure that your legacy unfolds in accordance with your wishes as to make arrangements with the assistance of a licensed estate planning lawyer. It is nice to see Consumer Reports take the time to delve into the issue and provide people with unbiased information that will help them make intelligent decisions.
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