Consumer Reports has always done a good job of making sure that people have relevant information to draw from when they are considering making purchases. They do exhaustive research and let everyone know their findings in their magazine and on their website.
As a totally independent and objective entity the recommendations that are given by Consumer Reports are taken very seriously by people who are discerning about how they spend their money. With this in mind we would like to highlight some research that they have done recently into websites offering Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Wills.
They created Last Will documents using the systems that are offered by three of the most popular DIY sites. They then engaged the expertise of three prominent legal professors: Gerry W. Beyer of Texas Tech University School of Law; Richard K. Neumann of Hofstra University; and Hofstra and Yale University’s Norman Silber.
These experts examined the documents that were produced using the websites’ tools. They ultimately felt as though there were problems, including the possibility of including contradictory clauses. The wording was also considered to be too vague and in some cases they were concerned that unintended results could materialize as a result.
The people at Consumer Reports ultimately concluded that the best course of action is definitely going to be to engage the services of a qualified estate planning lawyer rather than relying on these websites for your estate planning needs.
This sober assessment coming from a reputable independent entity simply confirms what every estate planning attorney would tell you.