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Georgia Estate Planning Attorney: Wills on the Cheap Cost More in the End

I’ve been an Atlanta estate planning and probate attorney for several years and am often entertained and sometimes shocked by some attempts people make to prepare their own Last Will and Testament either on their own or through an automated service like LegalZoom.com.  I used to support companies like LegalZoom because I thought the documents they produced were foolproof, but I changed my mind after seeing what was supposed to be an easy process mangled either through the computer application or upon the execution of of the documents.  I certainly sympathize with the customer concerned with costs and don’t blame LegalZoom for grabbing hold of a market niche, but too often the result is far from what the customer intended.  (I’ve represented a lot of individuals in the past in business disputes resulting from the same problem: business partners too cheap to spend a few thousand dollars on a consult and some documents to protect their business and themselves from unknown legal risks.  As a result, the partners often end up spending tens of thousands in litigation.)

I’ve seen poorly drafted Wills make bequests to persons whom the testators had no intention of leaving property (at the cost of those persons the testators did want to receive property, of course), and  I’ve helped clients successfully contest Wills that were defective because a well-intentioned testator failed to have the document properly witnessed.  The costs of these mistakes usually are thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property going to the wrong people.  Each case would have been prevented by a single consult with an attorney for a few hundred bucks.

As these examples show, legal mistakes due to a failure to seek an attorney’s counsel are common.  It does take some money up-front to avoid those mistakes, but that money is well-spent compared to the money those mistakes will cost months or years down the road.

If you need a Will, trust, power of attorney, or other estate planning document, please email me or call me at my Atlanta estate planning law firm at 404-467-8613.  I will help you make an estate plan that not only has proper execution and witnessing, and will ensure your property goes exactly where you desire, but will hold up to any challenge.

1175 Peachtree Street, N.E.
100 Colony Square, Suite 1450

Atlanta, GA 30361

Phone: 404-445-7771
Fax: 404-445-7774
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