Are Online Wills a Good Idea in Texas?

In the year 2024, it can be tempting to bypass traditional legal services in favor of getting things done online. Many clients ask us about online wills: are they a good idea? What are the advantages and disadvantages? At McCulloch & Miller, we have an adage: online wills work until they don’t work. Today’s blog will explore this topic a bit more in depth.

Advantages of Online Wills

By using an online tool to create your will, you can avoid many of the costs associated with estate planning. You can generally draft a will pretty quickly online, which leads many individuals to resort to an online will when they are in a pinch and feel as if they might not have much time left.

Disadvantages of Online Wills

The disadvantages of online wills are, in essence, everything else. The online will is a generalized tool that struggles to account for each person’s individualized circumstances. Take an example: say you leave your assets to your son, Bill. What happens if Bill is no longer alive by the time your will takes effect? Do the assets go to Bill’s wife? Do they go to his children? Do they go to someone else altogether? It is important to keep these contingencies in mind, and each person’s set of circumstances is different, requiring different language in his or her will.

Online wills can also be difficult to authenticate. When a will goes through the probate process, the judge will want to know that the decedent is really the person that drafted the will. The judge will also want to be sure that the decedent was of sound mind when he or she wrote the contents of the will. With online wills, it can be more difficult for the judge to make these determinations. This can lead to delays in getting assets to beneficiaries.

Lastly, online wills sometimes fail to include provisions that would have been included if an attorney had drafted the will. Some, but not all, of these provisions include: power of attorney, funeral arrangements, payable on death accounts, and business interests. Having a thorough attorney on hand to draft your will can help you ensure you have included every necessary clause in your documents.

Call a Houston Estate Planning Attorney Today

When thinking through your estate plan, you shouldn’t settle for any team of attorneys but the best. If you or your loved one needs an experienced Houston estate planning attorney in your corner, give us a call at McCulloch & Miller. Our team of attorneys provides empathetic, holistic services to our client community, and our clients trust us to have their best interests in mind. If you would like to set up a consultation with one of our Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, call us today at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about yourself and have a member of our team contact you as soon as possible. Our firm covers estate planning, trust administration, elder law, special needs planning, and more.


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