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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why Use a Lawyer for Your Estate Planning? Why Not Something Like Legal Zoom?

Online estate planning is all the rage nowadays with companies like Legal Zoom and Rocket Law. Are they good choices for consumers? Obviously I'm biased as I am an attorney who practices estate planning. I think everyone should have their estate plan done by me! But I'm realistic to the fact that people are afraid of using lawyers due to the often high prices lawyers charge. Here are some reasons why I think drafting your estate plans online is a bad idea:

  1. If you make a mistake, no one is around to catch it. And mistakes in the world of estate planning can cost your family thousands of dollars after you're gone. Legal Zoom may draft your will, but they won't show up to court to litigate on your behalf.
  2. Form wills are good for people with simple needs and low incomes. For everyone else, they are a problem. Very specific instructions in estate planning documents should only be written by an attorney who will be able to write in such a way that the documents are iron clad and unlikely to be invalidated in court.
  3. Peace of mind. Do you feel comfortable doing something new after it's done?
  4. Price. While you may save hundreds of dollars initially, you may lose thousands later. "Penny wise pound foolish."

Particularly in wealthy cities like Columbia, Maryland, which see litigation over estate matters regularly, it makes sense to work with an attorney so that your assets are distributed legally and according to your wishes.


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The Law Offices of Rick Todd is located in Columbia, MD and Chevy Chase, MD (Friendship Heights) serve clients throughout Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Fulton, Rockville, Bethesda, Potomac, Laurel, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Washington D.C.



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