Choosing an Attorney vs. Online Forms for Estate Planning

As we get older, our lives become increasingly complicated. We start new careers, get married, have children, and start building our family’s legacy. A big part of this involves planning for the future, and there’s no better way to do this than with an estate plan. 

You should begin estate planning as soon as possible, but it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. There are a number of online resources that claim to help with a do-it-yourself (DIY) estate plan, but sitting down face-to-face with a professional is the only way to know your wishes will truly be followed. 

If you’re searching for an estate planning attorney in the Southlake, Texas region, contact Redding Law Office today to discuss your options. 

Why Estate Planning Is Important

When most people think of estate planning, they probably imagine a simple will that’s read to your family members after your passing. In fact, estate planning can be much more comprehensive, involving trusts you’re able to manage during your lifetime, assigning powers of attorney for both financial and medical care decisions, designating a guardian for minor children, implementing a business succession plan, minimizing the tax burden for your beneficiaries, or providing for your favorite charities. When you have an estate plan, you’re giving yourself peace of mind, making sure your family is provided for, and reducing stress and responsibility for your heirs.

Online Forms vs. Estate Planning Attorney

When you start planning for your future, it’s essential to look at the merits of using an estate planning attorney vs. an online form or template. 

State-Specific

Most ​​online estate planning forms are not state-specific, meaning they don’t account for Texas laws and tax implications. Each state has slightly different estate planning rules and requirements, and only a local attorney will be knowledgeable about these. They can help you avoid costly mistakes and take advantage of regulations that could help you and your family.

Making Modifications

A typical ​​online estate planning template is very complex, and there are a lot of chances to make a mistake. When this happens, making changes can be difficult, and modifying even one item can change the entire estate plan.

Getting the Right Advice

When you use an attorney, you can get real-time tax guidance and advice every step of the way. They can inform you of your options and make sure you choose a plan that fits your needs. An online form cannot offer tailored advice and won’t be able to alert you if you’re making a mistake.

When Disputes Arise

Even the most well-written estate plans can be disputed by your beneficiaries after you pass. When this happens, the court will need to step in and they’ll often consult with the attorney who drafted the plan to make a ruling. If you’ve only used an online template, your heirs will not have the benefit of your attorney’s advice and it will likely cause more infighting. 

Keeping Your Documentation Safe

Lastly, an attorney will retain a copy of your estate plan for safekeeping should anything happen to the original or if it’s contested after your pass. 

Experienced Guidance You Can Trust

Drafting an estate plan online is a tempting option for those who want to save money and get it done quickly. However, by using an experienced estate planning attorney, you’ll save time and money over the long run all while knowing that your family is looked after, that your wishes are followed, and that your assets are distributed to the right people. 

At Redding Law Office in Southlake, Texas, you’ll get estate planning help you can trust now and in the future. Attorney Chelsea Redding is also able to serve clients in Tarrant County and Denton County, as well as the surrounding cities of Flower Mound, Keller, and Colleyville. Call today to schedule a consultation.


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