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Are online wills and living wills accepted and are they legal ?

Joplin, MO |
Attorney answers 5

Posted

Yes-BUT
Almost every will I have reviewed prepared from on a line documents has not
been correctly prepared once I ask questions
about what they want to achieve.
Do yourself a favor and have an experienced estate planning attorney prepare the
documents.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

Posted

Attorney Pippen is correct. An online Living Will form, which is provided by a recognized Missouri health care charity, is likely to be valid in Missouri. Furthermore, I'm sure there are "accepted and legal" will forms provided by internet sites that serve Missouri. With that said, as noted by Attorney Pippen, they will not necessarily accomplish what you wish with respect to your estate planning goals. Retain an experienced attorney, who will prepare your documents and make sure they are executed properly. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.

Posted

my colleagues are both correct. While the documents will most likely be okay, they may not address you needs properly or completely. In addition, wills must be executed with proper formalities.

You really would be wise to have an estate planning attorney assist you. They can ask questions that you may not even realize are issues or thing you should consider.

The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

Posted

These are very important legal documents. Do yourself a favor and have a competent attorney prepare them for you. It might be more expensive upfront, but you could be saving those you love a lot of expense and heartache in the long run. Good luck to you.

Donald Joseph Quinn II

Donald Joseph Quinn II

Posted

Counsel is correct. In my 32 years of practicing law and 2 more as a clerk in a probate division I have seen many situations where the verbage in the mail order wills was not quite right or easily susceptible to interpretation...which is bad.

Posted

Go ahead and use online forms. We attorneys make money fixing the problems online forms create. If on the other hand you want something that will address your needs and goals, then hire an attorney. Online forms are designed so that you can prepare them yourself, the only problem is that you may not know what questions to ask yourself to flush out the issues. Do you have a disabled family member? What about adopted or stepchildren? How do you want your grandchildren treated if their parent dies? Do you want the fruits of your life's work to go towards buying your son-in-law a new motorcycle? A good attorney will have the knowledge, skill, and experience to get responses out of you regarding your goals that you may never have considered. Peoples lives and families are complex and your loved ones deserve to have a well thought out estate plan.