The coronavirus pandemic has many people deeply concerned about their health and wondering what will happen to their loved ones if they contract the virus. For so many, the eventuality of death seems more real and more imminent than ever. Because of this, sales of online wills and legal documents have absolutely exploded over the past few weeks.
I’m a lawyer. I want people to use lawyers. But, most of all, I want whoever is considering making an online will or trust to have all the information — not just an advertisement from a form document website or a stern “Don’t do it!” from someone in the legal community. Please take this advice to heart and do what you decide to be in your best interests.
Full disclosure: Professionally and personally, I am no fan of online legal documents. Here are just a few reasons why:
My mother (who did not expect to die at age 61) made an online will. I spent a year of my life having to be an executor for her tiny estate. It was stressful and so hard to manage when my heart was already broken and I was totally burned out from caregiving for her through cancer. It’s part of the reason I began to practice estate planning and probate — so I could help other people avoid what I went through.