Estate Planning Tips: Mark L. Hoffman vs. the Internet

There is no substitute for experience. The Law Offices of Mark L. Hoffman has provided clients with estate planning tips for more than 36 years. Contact us.

A recent study by a leading consumer magazine concluded that consumers were better off consulting with a lawyer than with using websites. The use of the Internet can lead to unintended results. While the Internet is a valuable tool for general information, only an attorney who concentrates in estate planning can understand and explain the complicated interrelationship between property, probate, family and tax law.  An experienced attorney can provide clients with the most up-to-date information to help clients achieve their planning goals, avoid probate, minimize unnecessary expenses and protect against abuse.

A professional Estate Plan is a one-time investment usually at a nominal fee with little or no ongoing costs. It is a dangerous gamble to trust your life savings and the well-being of your family to the generalized information that is found on the Internet.

Perhaps the greatest flaw on the Internet is that anyone can post anything. An experienced attorney is like an experienced doctor. When you have seen thousands of clients, you have the knowledge and a feel for their best interests.

We encourage you to browse our Website and to use the Internet to learn more about estate planning. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why the Internet Is Full of Traps when it comes to estate planning:

  1. Internet sites are not state specific. State laws on Probate, taxes, Powers of Attorney, property rights, signing rules and more can differ drastically.
  2. Internet sites do not evaluate your specific situation to determine what will be subject to your estate plan and what is not. They do not tell you if a Simple Will is appropriate, or whether or not you need a Trust.
  3. Internet sites do not provide information about spousal or other family members’ rights. You will not be advised what rights take priority over estate planning documents.
  4. Internet sites do not provide tax planning or information as to the tax consequences of an estate plan.
  5. Internet sites do not educate you on the practical results of a document. The document that you create may cause the opposite results from what you intended.
  6. Internet sites will not tell you if a document is properly prepared and executed. Your documents may not hold up in court.
  7. Internet sites do not inform you of loopholes in your documents that may open the door to challenges by dissatisfied family members.
  8. Internet sites do not update you on our constantly changing laws.
  9. Internet sites do not counsel you on other important documents that you may have overlooked.
  10. Internet sites do not counsel you on how to prevent abuse by unscrupulous caregivers, relatives and friends.