The Internet has changed numerous industries including the legal market. Despite the many advantages of online services, there are considerable drawbacks when comparing the use of web-based estate planning forms versus hiring a competent attorney. The following list comes from a North Carolina attorney. Rather than relying on the bare information fed into a computer, a skilled lawyer can:
- Listen to your goals and desires and incorporate them into your plan.
- Offer advice, not just words on paper.
- Help with referrals to other trusted professionals.
- Make sure that the documents are properly executed.
- Make sure that any trusts are properly funded.
- Make sure that beneficiary designations are properly completed.
- Make sure that accounts and real estate are properly titled.
- Help with managing assets of incapacitated family members.
- Help with probate and trust administration.
- Help with income, gift and estate tax matters.
- Help ensure governmental benefits for disabled or incapacitated family members.
- Serve as an advocate in dealing with financial institution and governmental bodies.
- Care about you and your family.
Of course, there is a sinister view that attorneys embrace computer-based estate planning programs because such planning generally leads to a much more costly probate proceeding. To avoid the added cost and delay involved in a probate, and enjoy the benefits listed above, consult with an estate planning specialist today.