It’s the beginning of a new year. It’s the time of year where people think about the future, including how they can take care of their family when the pass away. As everyone continues to tighten their belts to make it through tough economic times with the continued increase in the price of good and wages that are fairly stagnant, people look for ways to save money while meeting their needs. One of the considerations is the use of a free California last will and testament form. It’s certainly a tempting idea. The real question to ask: is using a free California last will and testament form is a good choice for you?
It’s a good question, but using a free California last will and testament can cause a lot of problems when you pass away. This could result in a longer probate process that is stressful and more expensive.
Free California Last Will and Testament Forms Aren’t Necessarily Created by Lawyers
Unless you’re getting a template for a last will and testament from an experienced California lawyer, you really don’t have a guarantee of anything. Even legal form websites that provide free and paid versions of California last will and testament forms aren’t necessarily owned or created by lawyers. They can’t give you legal advice or estate planning advice that will fit your situation as well as reduce the estate’s tax liabilities.
What’s Free Now Can Cost Your Estate Later
While a free California last will and testament form may seem to get the job done, it can cost your estate and your family in the long run. If the free will is found to be invalid during the probate process, your estate will then be subject to intestate law. Essentially, you’ve died without a will. The state will follow the law to distribute your estate. This could mean that your initial wishes aren’t honored.
Without the proper estate planning documents in place, your estate could end up owing more in taxes than you expected. Talking with a qualified estate planning lawyer can help you make educated decisions about how to handle your assets to minimize the impact on your estate and your loved ones.
A Free California Last Will and Testament Form May Not Be Up-to-date with Recent Laws
It may seem that a free California last will and testament is a safe choice because it’s specifically for California. Yet, that doesn’t mean that the document is up-to-date with the most recent changes in the law.
Do You Have Children from a Previous Relationship or Specific Beneficiaries in Mind?
Consider your family dynamic. Think about how your want your assets distributed. Is there someone you want to have certain things? Is there someone that you don’t want to provide for out of your estate? It’s imperative that you consider how children from a previous relationship or specific beneficiaries may be impacted if your online will is thrown out by the court.
Don’t Put Your Estate at Risk
We understand the importance of seeking out a cost-effective solution for estate planning. However, it’s essential that you don’t put your estate and your family at future risk by using a free form. Your loved ones and their future are worth the time and money to get the right answers for your estate planning and to have a proper last will and testament drafted.