Since 2001, Legalzoom.com and other online “legal service” providers have served millions of customers. Despite multiple attempts by governing legal bodies, bar associations, and attorneys to shut down this quasi-legal practice, these DIY online legal companies have survived and continue to gain popularity. One type of product LegalZoom offers is estate planning.
The time it would take to explain all the reasons why you should not use an online legal service provider for your estate plan would far exceed the appropriate number of pages for which the blogging experts tell me that I have remaining. Therefore, over the next five posts, I will list and explain five of the most important reasons why you should not settle with being a “customer” when it comes to your estate planning and instead hire a competent attorney in your jurisdiction:
#5: Although you may save a few bucks now, using LegalZoom.com for your estate planning could end up costing you and your family thousands in the long run.
Statistics show that estate planning instruments, when created as a result of an online customer filling in blanks, will usually be incorrect. More precisely, 80% of people fill out the blanks incorrectly! And no, I didn’t find that statistic in a google search. On one of the first pages of their website, Legalzoom cautions their customer – you – that 80% of people who fill out blanks for their online estate planning documents do so incorrectly.
In other words, you only have a 20% chance of getting your Will correct if purchased from an online legal service provider such as Legalzoom. This kind of mistake could end up costing your heirs thousands of dollars and result in an unintended family feud. The probability of making such an error with an online estate planner far outweighs the $50-$100 you might save from retaining an attorney to do the drafting instead. While we can and often should settle for the quick and easy option in some circumstances, like buying a new computer or pair of shoes from Amazon.com, you and your family cannot afford to “settle” for that kind of service when it comes to your estate plan.
When someone first explains to me why he or she intends to or has selected Legalzoom for their estate planning, it almost always involves the amount of money the client saves in using the online service. As a millennial with a growing family, I can certainly understand this financial consideration. However, although cost is important when it comes to selecting service provider (legal or otherwise), cost should never be the most important factor when it comes to the well-being of your family, the protection of your assets, or how your estate and end-of-life decisions will be managed. And remember, one incorrect entry on an online questionnaire could end up costing you or your heirs thousands in the long term!
Contact the experienced attorneys at Dillon Law Group, PLC today to get started on an estate plan that fits your specific situation and goals.
Please note that reading this blog does not create a legal relationship between you and any attorney associated with Dillon Law Group, PLC. Moreover, this blog post contains merely commentary on the law itself; THIS POSTING DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.