It’s the perfect holiday trip — a journey to Jerusalem. The couple had been planning to go for years and now it was finally happening. By far, it was looking to be one of their more exciting holiday seasons to date. However, the couple realized that they were about to leave the country without a clear estate plan in place. That’s when they had to make a decision. Do they visit an estate planning website or the local office store to buy a ready-made will? It’s simple enough — The ready-made, nicely packaged estate plan in a box might be all they needed; not to mention the affordability and simplicity of it.
But, why rush a will if you’ve taken time and careful planning to make a big trip? A family’s legacy is worth more than a quickie will, right? Fortunately, this couple decided to schedule a consultation with The Ruffin Firm and worked with us to draft a will that met all their needs.
If you find yourself having to decide between a quick, do-it-yourself will and a professionally prepared document, consider these three things before you make a final decision.
1. How complex are your needs?
Online services and ready-made options only cover the basics. They will prompt you with a series of questions but these oftentimes don’t delve into complexities that you may or may not know that you need. A fill-in the blanks type of document may not be exactly what you need if there are needs that go beyond the typical will.
2. Can you rest assured that your estate plan in a box is legally binding?
How binding is your do-it-yourself will? Can you be sure that if something does happen to you, that all your needs will be honored and not contested by a grieving relative? Will there be room to question your intent? In some cases, language can be interpreted in many ways. You want to avoid probate and a strong, binding will is the best way to prevent putting relatives through this tedious and stressful process.
3. Do you fully understand what needs to be covered in a will?
Estate laws constantly change. Can your will be updated without an attorney to keep pace with these updates? If you have an estate that’s of a certain size, assets valuing millions of dollars or an estate with multiple heirs, you may not want to consider a simple, do-it-yourself will.
It’s tough to be in a crunch. You figure you’re leaving a gift by making an attempt to have something in place. However, it’s always best to consult with professional, legal counsel when it involves protecting your family’s legacy and providing for the future. Give yourself the gift of ‘peace of mind’ this holiday season and schedule a consultation with the Ruffin Firm, today.