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A Will for $69… Seems too Good to be True? It is.

Recently online vendors such as LegalZoom have been promoting do-it-yourself legal documents.  These vendors lure customers in with promises of inexpensive fill in the blank legal documents such as wills, deed transfers and trusts.  Do not be fooled. Here are just some of the problems with online legal documents:

  • You get what you pay for. Although LegalZoom boasts the word “Legal” in their name and profits from selling legal documents, their disclaimer reads:“We are not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. We cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.” So, let’s get this straight, you are paying for legal document that has been drafted by someone who is not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice. That’s sort of like going to a car mechanic to diagnose a medical ailment. Perhaps some documents don’t really require an attorney such as a bill of sale for the sale of a car, but a Last Will and Testament is not one of those documents. If you want peace of mind to know that your estate will be handled a certain way at the time of your death, you’re not going to get it with a fill-in-the-blank cheapo will from a non-lawyer online service.
  • The online Will that you purchase is an invalid document until it has been properly witnessed and notarized. Finding the people to notarize and witness the will may be a challenge and could be an additional cost to you. Asking a witness and a notary to witness the signing of a Last Will and Testament means that if your will is challenged; one or more of the witnesses and notary could be required to testify to your mental state at the time of the signing.  For this reason, a public notary may be unwilling to sign your will. In fact, many hospitals and nursing homes have policies in place that forbids their staff from witnessing a Will. They do not want their staff to become a party to a possible will dispute.Any reputable attorney will provide the witnesses and notary as part of their will services at no additional cost or hassle to you.
  • If you fill out the online form incorrectly, the document could be invalid.  Since online vendors do not review your document for validity, you may not even know that your will is not valid until it is too late.As an experienced attorney, I know the questions that I ask of client’s in drafting their wills and those questions first of all, are not “fill in the blank” simplistic; and further,client’s need some explanation before they are able to properly answer my questions.  It is clear from doing hundreds of will interviews, that the complexity of the questions necessary to properly draft a will cannot be gleaned from a simple fill-in-the-blank form.
  • Many people are extremely dissatisfied with the documents that receive from LegalZoom. Despite LegalZoom’s claims of customer satisfaction, a quick bit of research reveals terrible reviews:

The bottom line is that online wills are not worth the risk.  Our office is dedicated to keeping our prices competitive with online vendors; our will package for $247 includes a properly witnessed Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Agent Appointment.  That is less than you will pay online and we guarantee its validity.

The Law Offices of Yona Gregory offers a flat fee will package for valid wills properly executed according the laws of the State of CT.