There are a lot of projects out there that the average person can complete on his or her own with great results. The do-it-yourself craze certainly gets people out, trying new things and sharpening already existing skills. Unfortunately, DIY is not meant for everything. Take a DIY will, for example. It is cheap and quick and seems to get basic estate planning done, but is it the best way for New Jersey residents to protect their assets and beneficiaries?
A quick Google search will bring up a number of websites that offer DIY will forms online. These forms are all very basic and there are no guarantees that they or the websites they come from are up to date with current state laws. People turn to these online products, though, because they are easy to access and fairly inexpensive to purchase. In the long run, though, a will made this way can end up costing one’s beneficiaries a lot in the end.
The few benefits of online estate planning products are easily overshadowed by their drawbacks. First, the makers of these forms really do not help consumers figure out complex estate issues; rather, consumers are left to figure everything out on their own. Second, most people do not actually know which estate planning products they need to protect themselves, their families and their assets, leaving them blindly picking products and hoping they are good enough. Finally, third, state laws regarding probate are always evolving. The average person will not keep up with the law changes on his or her own in order to create a will that actually complies with state law.
A DIY will may have its place in the world, but it does not mean it is the best option or really worth it in the end. New Jersey residents who want to make sure they have wills and/or full estate plans in place that offer all of the safeguards they desire would likely be better off seeking legal counsel to help them through the estate planning process. It may take time, but going this route can offer protections that the DIY route may not.