The Pros and Cons of Creating Digital Wills
As the world continues to move more toward the use of digital technology for so many aspects of our daily lives, people are constantly looking for easier digital solutions to just about everything — and estate planning is no exception.
Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of digital estate planning websites that promise to make it easier for people to create and store wills and other estate planning documents. There are some pros and cons to these digital platforms.
Advantages of digital estate planning sites
There is no denying how easy many of these websites can make it to quickly arrange a simple estate plan. If a person does not have a complicated estate and just needs a simple last will and testament, for example, these sites can offer workable solutions.
Additionally, so long as a person’s estate personal representative knows of the existence of an account on such a site, it makes it easy to find wills and other relevant estate planning documents. It can take a lot of time and cause a lot of headache to try to find someone’s estate planning documents after his or her passing, but these digital platforms keep all that information in a convenient place.
Disadvantages of digital estate planning sites
Although these sites can be easy to use, you must exercise some caution. Many of these sites are tech startups, which means there is no guarantee they will provide permanent and reliable service like an established law firm would.
To that end, only an estate planning attorney can provide the sound, in-depth legal assistance needed for planning larger, more complicated estates. If you have substantial assets and property, working with an experienced lawyer is a much better option than turning to a one-size-fits-all digital platform. Also, consider this: an error or ambiguity in a will document can lead to costly legal proceedings costing your estate tens of thousands of dollars, far more than the legal fee for having an estate planning attorney do it right.
For the time being, to be valid as a will in Florida, the document must be signed by the testator at the end of the document. Also, he or she must acknowledge the signature to two witnesses who must also sign the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other. That would not be possible under present law with a purely digital document, although that may become possible in the future.
For more information and guidance on creating a solid will and other key documents as you plan for the years ahead, meet with a trusted Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.