Follow us
  >  Uncategorized   >  The Problems with Online Will Creation in Virginia

The Problems with Online Will Creation in Virginia

In today’s digital age, there’s an increasing shift toward online services, from banking to shopping and even healthcare. Estate planning isn’t immune to this trend. Online will creation services in Virginia and across the United States are becoming more prevalent, offering a quick and cost-effective way to draft a last will and testament. But is this method suitable for everyone? Let’s delve into the pros and cons of creating an online will in Central Virginia.

Advantages of Online Wills in Virginia

  • Quick and Convenient
    One of the most significant benefits of online will services is their convenience. You can create a will from your home, avoiding the need to schedule and travel to appointments. 
  • Budget-Friendly
    Upfront, using an online service to create your will can be less expensive than consulting with a lawyer. However in the long run, changes or errors could lead to added costs and headaches.

Drawbacks of Online Wills in Virginia

  • Generic Templates
    While convenient, online wills are often built on generic templates that lack customization. Because every person’s situation is unique, this can be problematic. For example, if you have a blended family, own multiple properties, or have specific charitable giving desires, the one-size-fits-all approach might not serve you well.
  • Absence of Legal Guidance
    When you create an online will, you’re essentially going it alone. Even with the most user-friendly online services, you’re missing out on the in-depth, personalized advice that an experienced estate planning attorney can offer. This might result in overlooked details or gaps that could be problematic down the road. Your will might turn out to be invalid or to produce results that were the opposite of what you intended. If there’s a problem with your will, the problem may not be noticed until it is too late to do something about it.

The Importance of Tailoring Your Will 

The key to an effective estate plan, including your will, is customization. You should be able to address your individual needs, circumstances, and wishes. For instance, special needs planning, elder care considerations, and complex family dynamics are often beyond the scope of online will platforms. 

Working with an attorney allows you to craft a will and other estate planning documents that are tailored specifically to you and your situation. Your attorney can also help you determine whether your loved ones would be better served by transferring certain assets in other ways, such as through the use of beneficiary clauses or joint ownership. Estate planning attorneys know that your will needs to coordinate with your other plans, but an online software program is not likely to take this into consideration. 

Keeping Up with Virginia Laws: A Challenge for Online Wills

Online will platforms often promote themselves as a one-stop solution, but there’s a major drawback that often goes unnoticed: keeping up with ever-changing state laws. Laws governing wills and estates are subject to change and vary significantly from state to state. While estate planning attorneys stay abreast of these legislative changes, online platforms generally market to numerous states and might not update their templates and guidance as promptly. 

In Virginia, for instance, if you drafted your will based on an outdated law or format, it might be considered invalid or lead to complications during the probate process. Consequently, what seemed like a quick and easy solution could become a long-term problem for you and your family.

Why Choose Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel for Your Virginia Estate Planning Needs?

At Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel, we believe that estate planning is not a one-time transaction but a long-term commitment to protect your family and preserve your assets. Unlike online will services, we offer the advantage of personal consultations, where you can discuss your specific needs and tailor your estate plan accordingly.

If you’re considering an online will, weigh the pros and cons carefully. And remember, personalized guidance from a dedicated estate planning lawyer can help you make the best choices for your unique circumstances.

Your Next Steps for a Customized Estate Plan in Central Virginia

Are you ready to secure your family’s future with a comprehensive, customized estate plan? It’s a critical part of responsible adulting, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Call Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel in Central Virginia at (434) 589-2958 or in Powhatan at (804) 598-1348 or reach out online to set up a free consultation to discuss your estate planning needs.