Call me old-school, but it seems to me that legal services, such as estate planning, should involve a personalized continuing relationship, not a single disconnected transaction.
Estates, and their planning, can change over the course of someone’s lives as assets are obtained, properties are sold, marriages end or begin, and children and grandchildren are born. Not to mention state and federal laws can change many times during the course of a lifetime. Planning for your family’s future isn’t just something you do once and never think about again.
Some people will always gravitate toward the lowest cost option, using inexpensive websites or software because they’re more concerned about price than value. But I think that if those people really sat down and thought about what they are not getting when they choose a faceless form over sound legal counsel, they might reconsider the real cost. Then, of course, there are the people who understand the inherent value that comes with a qualified attorney with whom they can build a relationship, knowing that their attorney will always have their best interests in mind.
But for those who haven’t come to that conclusion yet, consider the following questions:
Can an online legal site . . .
- Look you in the eye?
- Shake your hand?
- Listen to your priorities, concerns and goals?
- Meet your family?
- Answer legal questions and provide you with sound advice?
- Help you if you or a loved one becomes disabled?
- Help you after the death of a family member?
- Notify you of differences in your state’s laws or in changes in the law?
- Say that it is answerable to a State Bar?
- Say it has malpractice insurance?
- Say that it attends many days of continuing legal education each year?
- Refer you to other professionals to assist you with other matters?
I don’t think so. So before choosing price over value, or convenience over a well thought out plan, consider what you’re putting at risk and what the real cost of that easy online form is. Then decide what's best for you and your family when you are dealing with life’s most important questions.
If you’re ready to start working on a well thought out estate plan that takes you and your family’s best interests into consideration with an attorney who will stand by you throughout the entire process, give us a call. We would be happy to talk to you about how to make sure your wealth and wishes are carried out exactly as you wish.