Wills are essential to any individual, especially if you’re looking to leave behind your property for your family members or friends. A will dictates how different beneficiaries will share your assets in your absence. In the past, will creation would require you to visit a lawyer’s office onsite to formulate one. However, things are changing with the rise in innovations and the need for convenience in service provision. This has led to the formulation of online wills. How viable are online wills? Would you adopt this as you create your will? This article discusses the merits and disadvantages of online wills to help you decide.
The merits of an online will are as follows:
It Is A Quick Process
The will preparation process is often lengthy when done physically. You have to book appointments with your lawyer and schedule meetings that could take several days or weeks. Your lawyer has to prepare several drafts before the final draft.
There’s often no need to book appointments or schedule meetings with online wills. Most online will service providers will issue you with a template that you’ll use to fill in your details. Should you need customization, you have to set up meetings; a virtual meeting is also possible if you’re worried about finding time to visit offices physically.
It Is Cheap
The physical preparation of wills tends to be expensive. This is considering you’ll pay legal fees, especially if they’re hourly based. Imagine that you have to meet your lawyer several times over a few days or weeks. You have to pay for each hour you spend with them. The lengthy period and pay per hour can accumulate and become costly.
For most online will services, you’ll only pay a fixed fee for all services, which is cheaper than paying by the hour.
It Provides Convenience
Convenience refers to the ease of storing and sharing your will. With in-person will formulation, you’ll get the documents in their physical form. This means you have to find a safe location to store them, and should you need to share the documents with other parties, you have to print out copies to do so, which can be inconvenient.
With online wills, you can decide to store them on the cloud, which provides safe storage space. Should you lose the physical copy, or should someone tamper with it, you can easily retrieve your online copy from the cloud for proof of manipulation. Moreover, should you need to share the will with other parties, you can easily do so without necessarily printing out copies.
Every good thing that comes around has its demerits; the same goes for electronic wills. Therefore, the cons of online wills are that there’s:
Possibility Of Errors
With the preparation of online wills, you’ll handle most aspects independently, including your signature. Most issues arise during the will signing process. Should you make a mistake here, it might affect your dependents in the future. This is because there’s a probability of signing in the wrong place or the signature seeming different from your physical one. A disparity in signature arises if you don’t have a saved e-signature and instead draw it on the form. Someone can dispute that the two don’t match in the future, bringing about issues.
Lack Of Flexibility
As stated earlier, you’ll utilize templates to fill out your details in online wills. These templates can be vague, especially if you have many assets. In most cases, you’ll have no choice but to cramp your descriptions, which isn’t advisable in will creation.
The generalization of descriptions can lead to ambiguity during interpretation, which can be a source of conflict. With physical will creation, you don’t rely on a template. You can write down all the details without worrying about it running into several pages. With detailed information, there’s no room for guesses.
Possible Legal Issues
Online wills can bring about legal issues if you aren’t keen during the formulation process. Different states have varying laws regarding electronic wills. Imagine a situation where you download an online will template from a site based in the USA, but your location is in the UK. You’ll have a will that’s useless in your area and a hassle and waste of resources. Therefore, you need to be wary as you look for online will services.
Lack Of Professional Expertise
As previously stated, most clients make online wills independently. Clients will formulate their will based on how they see fit. However, this isn’t always the best fit legally or in practice in most cases. By undertaking the project independently, you’ll lack professional legal advice. Hence, you’ll need a lawyer to assess your assets and hear how you want to allocate them. With a lawyer’s expertise backing you up, you’ll have someone to formulate the will without loopholes.
This article has shown you the pros and cons of online wills. With these, you can make an informed decision on whether adopting an online will suit you best.