Why Lawyers vs. the Internet – a Baker’s Dozen
It’s Friday the 13th, and I’ve been at the University of Miami School of Law’s Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning all week. This morning there was some discussion on the future for estate planning attorneys. While online documents may have some limited utility, some feel that online software can take care of all their estate planning related legal needs. I beg to differ. Here are 13 reasons why a flesh and blood lawyer beats a computer program any day – a lawyer can:
1. Listen to your goals and desires and incorporate them into your plan.
2. Offer advice, not just words on paper.
3. Help with referrals to other trusted professionals.
4. Make sure that the documents are properly executed.
5. Make sure that any trusts are properly funded.
6. Make sure that beneficiary designations are properly completed.
7. Make sure that accounts and real estate are properly titled.
8. Help with managing assets of incapacitated family members.
9. Help with probate and trust administration.
10. Help with income, gift and estate tax matters.
11. Help ensure governmental benefits for disabled or incapacitated family members.
12. Serve as an advocate in dealing with financial institution and governmental bodies.
13. Care about you and your family!