Yes, I am biased on this subject (as many attorneys are). However, what are the dangers in just downloading the forms online or using one of those online legal document preparation software for basic estate planning?
Well, the term “basic estate planning” is a loaded phrase in my opinion. If you talk to 10 people on a given day, you will be given 10 different answers on what the definition of “basic estate planning” actually entails.
However, I would caution anyone before engaging in even basic estate planning by downloading forms or using an online document preparation software.
I recently came across a document preparation software online that was offering “low cost estate planning.” I have no way of knowing whether this company consists of attorneys, or at the very least, had attorneys review these forms before they were sold to the general public.
However, there was a statement on this website that really caught my eye. And it was the following …
“Tennessee has a 5.5% - 9.5% estate tax rate.”
The problem with this statement is that Tennessee DOES NOT have an estate tax. The Tennessee inheritance tax was repealed in 2016. It causes me concern that these online services do not even have accurate information on their websites, and that families are relying on these services and online tools for their legal needs.
When it comes to something as important as your family, do not leave it to chance or picking the cheapest option. No matter what you read online, at least take the time to speak with an attorney to verify that the information is correct.
Engaging in do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning, although tempting when comparing the costs, is incredibly dangerous as your desire to save costs on the front end, could end up costing your family thousands of dollars.
If you have questions regarding estate and legacy planning and want to establish the perfect estate plan for you and your family, please CLICK HERE to schedule your Estate and Legacy Planning Legal Strategy Session!